Hot weather and your pets

Photo by The Paw Company

When you are feeling the heat of the summer, so are they!

Even though many parts of the country have recently experienced lots of rain and cooler weather, the summer is here and protecting your pets from the heat is crucial for their well-being. Heatstroke is also a health risk!

Hot weather safety

Here are a few tips from the Humane Society to keep your pets safe in the heat:

  • Please make sure your pets/animals are sheltered from the elements.
  • They need 24 hour access to fresh, clean and cool water. Keep their bowls out of the sun.
  • Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, because overheating can kill them. The inside of a vehicle can reach high degrees in mere minutes, even with the windows cracked.
  • Take walks during the early morning or after sunset.
  • On very hot days, any outdoor exercise should be brief or only during the cooler hours of the day.
  • Test the pavement/ground/road with the back of your hand before you go for a walk. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws. Use the 5 second rule. If you can’t hold your hand on the road or pavement for 5 seconds, then it can potentially burn their paws and cause injury.
  • Never leave an animal out in the sun. Always ensure they have access to shade.
  • For those breeds with a thin coat or lighter skin, prone to sunburn, apply animal safe sunscreen.
  • Regulate the temperature inside your home. Use air-cons, fans, or give access to cooler areas like a basement or darker room with tile floors.
  • Take extra precautions with old, overweight or snub-nosed dogs in hot weather. Boston terriers, Pekingese, Pugs, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus and Bulldogs are especially vulnerable to heat stroke. Dogs with heart or lung diseases should be closely monitored.
  • Watch for signs of heat stroke. These include panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, rapid pulse, bright red gums, and blue tongue or lips.
  • Treat heat stroke immediately. Move them to a cool place and lower their body temperature with cool (NOT icy) water, then contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • Provide a safe dog pool to help them cool down. This should be supervised.

Why you should not shave your pet according to Dr. Karen Becker

Most cats and many dogs shouldn’t have their coats shaved, even during the heat of summer. It may seem counterintuitive, but your pet’s coat actually provides heat relief in warm weather.

Many long-haired cats can require regular brushing to prevent mats that ultimately lead to a “buzzcut”. As a general rule dogs shouldn’t be shaved, either; however, there are exceptions, such as dogs with chronic hot spots. Some dogs actually really like a very short coat; in this case, consider a “puppy cut”.

Photo by Dr. Karen Becker from Facebook page

The risk of flash flooding is also a reality. See some tips below on this.

Photo from The Paw Company Facebook page

It doesn’t matter what kind of weather we have, your animals should always be protected from the elements as you are responsible for them. If you see an animal that appears owner-less at the time, in danger, injured, in distress or one that is not protected from the elements, please contact your local SPCA immediately!

  • For South Africa visit the NSPCA website.


Source: The Bulletin

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Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your vet or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.