Hamilton Vet care

The heat is coming

shutterstock_1635117With very hot weather forecast for the Christmas period in the Hamilton area we are providing some practical tips to keep your pets cool.
We often receive calls from concerned pet owners during summer heatwaves in regards to over heating or heatstroke. There are some simple tips that can help to prevent or minimise these problems. It’s important to remember that dogs and cats can’t sweat to cool down like we do. They need to pant in order to regulate their temperature, and dogs and cats with long hair can be more susceptible to the effects of the heat. (see breeds at high risk of overheating)dogbreeds1-580x580

Top tips for keeping dogs & cats cool
Make sure there is cool, fresh water nearby at all times. Leave this in a shady area.
On really hot days leave multiple bowls of cool water with large ice blocks  in the shade that can’t be tipped over.
Keep an eye on senior pets as they will be more susceptible to the heat particularly if they have respiratory problems.
Some dogs love to sit in the sun, but prolonged sun exposure can quickly lead to heat exhaustion and can cause skin cancers so it’s important to provide them with a shaded area.
One way to provide relief from the heat is to fill the children’s paddling pool with a small amount of water for your dog to sit in.
Dogs at risk of heatstroke (see picture) should be indoors on extreme days under the air conditioner.  If you don’t have air conditioning have them near a fan.
Exercise your dog in the early morning or the late evening to avoid the midday heat.
Consider putting some treats in the freezer. These can be given to your pet as a pet icypole on really hot days.
If you own a long haired dog, consider giving them a trim to help them cope better with the hotter summer months.
Finally it goes without saying that you must never leave a pet unattended in a car, even when the weather isn’t very hot.

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