Is your pet prone to heat stress?
During the scorching summer months, our pets can feel a little hot and bothered too. Unfortunately, in some cases, this unpleasant heat stress can progress to dangerous heat stroke.
Pets that are more at risk of overheating include:
Snub-nosed (or brachycephalic) animals, including dog breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and cavalier king charles spaniels, and cat breeds such as persians or exotic shorthairs.
Very overweight animals.
Animals with very thick fur coats, such as huskies, malamutes or golden retrievers.
Older pets with pre-existing breathing difficulties.
Pets who are exercising exuberantly during hot conditions.
However, any pet kept in conditions where they cannot seek shade or have free access to cool water can be at risk.
On hot days, the best ways to protect your pet include:
Don’t exercise your pet during the heat of the day.
Ideally, keep them indoors in air-conditioning, or with access to a fan, cool tiles to lie on or at least some generous shade.
Always ensure your pet has free access to fresh water.
Give dogs the option of a paddling pool to play in.
Under supervision, offer your pet large ice cubes to lick or make your pet “ice-lollies” – frozen versions of their favourite treats!
Never leave your pet in the car.
If you think your pet may be suffering from heat stress, the best first aid is to gently hose or soak your pet in cool (but not cold) water. If they are alert and able to sit up, you can offer them access to water and monitor them closely. If your pet is panting heavily, seems lethargic or unwell, or if you have any other concerns – take your pet to the vet for immediate assistance.
Let’s all stay cool this summer!