PREVENT YOUR FURRY FRIEND FROM OVERHEATING
If the predictions are correct, we're in for a long, hot summer here in NZ. It's about time, you might say! However, while hot summer days are a pleasure for many of us, they can be long, enduring, and sometimes dangerous for our canine companions. As we look forward to the sunny season, we must remember that our furry friends have different needs when dealing with the heat. Here, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide to ensuring your dog's summer is not only fun but also safe.
Whew, it’s getting hot. But we humans are not the only ones that feel the effects of summer’s heat. Our furry friends feel it too.
We love to get outside with the family when the sun is shining. Don’t forget that your pet is carrying around a permanent fur coat, so they can easily suffer from heat exhaustion.
Prevent that from happening with these tips to keep your dog cool this summer
Know the Signs
The first step is to recognise the signs that your pet is overheating. The first indicator is panting; this is an animal’s natural attempt to cool itself down. But, if they are in an enclosed area like a car, then their natural cooling process might not work as well. Often, the exertion of trying to cool themselves down in a confined space will cause further overheating.
Panting itself is not dangerous for your pet. But, once your dog starts panting, keep a close eye on them. Signs that they are overheating include laboured breathing, increased heart and breathing rate, drooling, and mild weakness.
If they suffer from severe overheating, there may be vomiting, diarrhoea, and even seizures.
Skip the Sun
Your pet will know how to cool themselves naturally. So in the middle of the day, when the sun is the strongest, you will often find them lying in the shade or on your cold tile floor. You can do your bit by taking them for a walk early in the morning or evening when the sun is not out in full force.
Hunt the Shade
If you find yourself out in the middle of the day, then make sure you allow your pet to get into the shade often. Also, remember that your pet has minimal protection on their feet; they will be sensitive to hot asphalt or sand. On the hottest days, try to stay inside when the sun is at its highest.
It can be tempting to take your pet with you everywhere you travel. But your dog can quickly overheat in a vehicle, even on a day when the temperature is moderate. It is best to leave them at home to avoid the heat if they need to.
Wet, Wet, Wet
One of the best ways to keep your pet from overheating is to keep them hydrated. Dehydration can be particularly dangerous for them. Panting works by evaporating fluids from the respiratory tract, so they must replace those fluids to prevent dehydration. Make sure you leave out plenty of fresh, clean water for them to rehydrate.
Watch the Breed
Dog breeds with flat faces, like pugs, find it harder to cool themselves as they cannot pant as effectively as other breeds. Be very mindful of these breeds in hot weather as it is far easier for them to develop heatstroke. Ensure they have easy access to plenty of fresh water and give them the chance to get out of the heat, even into an air-conditioned area.
Don’t make the mistake of shaving your pet to keep them cool; this messes with their body’s natural process and exposes them to sunburn. Trimming very long hair and regularly brushing your pets to remove excess hair should be the only pet-scaping you do.