They might not be able to complain about the weather, but that doesn't mean our pets aren't feeling the heat. Here's a look at five important ways you can help to make sure that your pets stay cool and safe on those sweltering summer days.
1. Keep animals hydrated at all times
While your pet can go hours without food, the same is not true of water. In general, dogs need about 55 to 110 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight each day, while cats require about 44 to 66 millilitres per kilogram. If you're taking your dog for a long walk or for a drive in the car, always remember to take along some water for it.
2. Avoid walking when it's hot
Did you know that if the footpath makes your feet hurt, you shouldn't be walking your dog on it, either? When the mercury rises, the best time to go for walks is in the early morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down. If you must walk your dog on a hot pathway, invest in a set of doggy boots to save their paws.
3. Never leave a pet in a hot car
Even though it may be pleasantly warm outside, temperatures can very quickly rise to dangerous levels in a parked car. Consider that on a 23-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach a life-threatening 48 degrees in just 30 minutes. If in doubt, bring a leash so you can tie up your pooch in the shade, or leave them at home.
4. Keep animals out of direct sunlight
Always make sure your pets have protection from direct sunlight. If you keep your guinea pigs or rabbits outside, make sure they can take refuge in a cool, shady place during the day. Because delicate pets such birds and fish can rapidly overheat, never leave cages or fish tanks in direct sun.
5. Watch for signs of overheating
Along with these precautions, keep an eye on your pet’s behaviour this summer. Some key signs of overheating include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Lethargy and depression.
- Lying down frequently on walks.
- Elevated heart rate and excessive drooling.
- Diarrhoea, vomiting, or seizures.
If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, get them to an air-conditioned indoor area and cool them down using wet towels, a bath, or ice packs. Then call your vet immediately.
Keeping the members of your household - including the furry ones - cool this summer doesn’t have to spike your electricity bills. Compare electricity and gas plans to find the right option for you.