As we enter into the hot summer months, it is important to remember your animals and to ensure they 'beat the heat'. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Hot Cars Kill
On a warm day, the inside of your car heats up very quickly. On a 30°C day the temperature inside your car can reach 39°C in 10 minutes - even in the shade with your windows slightly open. In 30 minutes it goes up to 49°C. A normal dogs body temperature is around 38.5°C. Dogs only sweat a small amount through their paws and rely on panting to cool down. In a hot car, even with the windows slightly open, panting is not enough to keep their body temperature cool. A dog can withstand a body temperature of 41°C for a short amount of time before it suffers irreparable brain damage and then death. Please don't leave your dog unattended in a car at any time of the day. If the purpose of your trip is not for the dog, please leave it at home.
2. Water and Shelter
Make sure your animals always have access to fresh drinking water and adequate shelter for protection from the midday sun and heat. You could half fill a shallow childrens pool for your animal to bathe in- just make sure they can get in and out easily. Ice Blocks are a great way to give your dog a treat on a hot day and to keep them hydrated - simply freeze dog biscuits in water to make one! Make sure the water is fresh for your animal - salt water can cause dehydration. If you leave your animal inside, you may need to leave the air conditioning on.
Rural animals need plenty of fresh drinking water, make sure they have access to a trough and check regularly that it is full.
3. Awareness When Exercising
Try to exercise your pet early in the morning or in the evening, these are the coolest times of day and your pet is less likely to overheat. Beware of hot pavements and sand as this can burn the pads of your pets paws. Avoid long or strenuous walks on hot, sunny days and steer clear of prolonged sun exposure. Once you have finished exercising, make sure there is water available for your pet to drink and you can even have water available for your pet to bathe in. If your pet has a long coat, make sure you visit the groomers regularly to ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible in the heat.
4. Beware of Sunburn!
All animals, especially those that are fair skinned and light haired can suffer from sun burn. Simply rub some suncream on the tips of ears, on the end of the nose and on the belly - these are the most sensitive areas - your animal will enjoy the attention too!
Remember to monitor what your animal is eating and be careful not to overfeed. It's easy to slip them a few nibbles under the table at get togethers and lose track leading to unpleasant digestive issues. Make sure dogs are kept well away from chocolate, raisins and grapes as these are toxic and can be deadly. If you would like to treat your pet purchase animal treats from a supermarket, pet shop or vet clinic.
6. At Christmas time remember to consider 'Decorative Dangers'
It's great when the time comes to pick and decorate your Christmas tree, a true sign that Santa is on his way! If you have a real tree, make sure you vacuum around the base to avoid sharp needles getting stuck in paws. Try to secure your tree as best as you can as animals can accidentally knock it over, or use it as a new scratching post! Watch out for small loose decorations that could be choking hazzards for a curious pet.