As the weather heats up so do the risks of heat stroke in our pets. Find our hot tips to help keep your pet cool and what the most common risks are to your pet.
So crank up the air conditioning, put the dog treats on ice and enjoy!
HOT TIPS ON KEEPING YOUR PET COOL
Elderly pets are prone to dehydration on hot days to keeping up their fluids is essential. Making sure they have access to more than one water source is important too just in case they spill or drink all of one water bowl.
Simply having a kennel which is out in the baking sun is not going to provide enough shelter from the heat for your pet. Ensure that there is more than the option to get out of the sun so that as the sun moves through the sky, your pet always has an option to escape.
Pocket pets (rabbits and guinea pigs) are extremely prone to heat stress and should be kept inside in the air conditioning on days when the temperature is over 32 degrees Celsius.
If mobility is an issue for your pet, then you need to ensure that they are able to move into the shade as required. For those who require help, it is best to keep them inside in the cool to avoid the situation of them overheating as they are unable to get up and move into the shade.
Gel cooling mats are another way to help your pet escape the heat. They do not need to be frozen or stored in the fridge. You can purchase them relatively cheaply from Kmart, Aldi or online.
For dogs who love water having a splash in a paddling pool is a great way to cool down. Putting toys in the paddling pool is a great way to encourage them to get in. Some dog’s don’t need any encouragement and love laying and digging in the water.
The best place for elderly pets is away from the heat. Bringing them inside to Netflix and chill in the air conditioning or fan is a great way to keep an eye on them and ensure they are not overheating.
If your dog LOVES water then enticing them into the pool for a dip is a great way to cool down. Never force your pet to go for a swim if they are scared. In fact, some dogs like Elmo find splashing in the pool very scary, so when we are going for a swim, he is kept inside, in the air conditioning, in his dog crate where he doesn’t have to listen to the ruckus in the pool.
Frozen pupsicles are a great way to cool off in this hot weather. The sky is the limit when it comes to making these. My boy’s favourite ones include diluted salt-free chicken stock plus some of their dry kibble and chopped up Savourlife dog treats frozen in a small plastic bowl. Sometimes I even freeze one end of a rope chew toy in their so they can drag it around the garden or I can hang it from a low lying tree branch for a bigger challenge.
Charlie is not fussy when it comes to what he puts in his mouth (cue garden destruction), and so here he is enjoying a plain cube of frozen water. Another great option is to freeze carrots for them to chew on.
Laying on cool tiles is another great way to cool down. On hot days Elmo often chooses the tiles over the couch or his dog bed.
For kids and dogs alike having a play in the hose or sprinkler on a hot day is a great way too cool off. However, if your pet doesn’t like the hose or sprinkler do not force them into playing in the water. Give them the option to join in or move away. Wait for them to approach the water rather than chasing them with the hose.
Senior pets are more prone to heat stress than their younger counterparts. Avoiding heat where possible is always the best option.
Be aware that some pets may already be struggling with dehydration depending on underlying medical conditions. Patients living with kidney, liver and heart disease are often at a higher risk of dehydration. Keep them indoors, away from the heat and add additional water to their diet by mixing additional water in with their food, offering frozen treats or giving them access to running water either via a tap or water fountain bowl.
Coming up in Part 2 we are going to talk about the common risk factors to our pets on hot days and the signs of heat stress in pets.