Summer Care For Pets
Many people love summer and look forward to the long hot days and the opportunities they bring for outdoor activities. Many pets, however, do not enjoy hot weather so much and pet owners need to take special care to make sure their animal friends are comfortable during the warmer months.
Plenty of fresh, clean drinking water is a number one requirement of all pets at all times, but especially during the summer months.
SHADE FROM THE SUN
Pets enjoy the comfort of an air conditioner when you are home with them, but when you are out or at work they need to have a cool, shady spot where they can lie and rest.
CARS AND HOT DAYS
Never, ever, leave your pet in a car on a hot or even warm day, even for a short time.
Pets do not sweat as we do, but evaporate most of their heat by panting. Panting requires large amounts of air to move heat away from the body and when the heat is trapped in a car and the air is hot, pets can literally overheat and die within minutes.
Scientists have studied the effects of the sun on the interior temperature of a car. They found that 89% of the temperature increase occurs in the first 15 to 20 minutes and that the increase is the same whether the windows are closed or open several centimetres.
The above chart show how quickly the temperature inside a car can rise on a 30ºC day. From these figures you can imagine what it would be like on a 35º or 40º day. Parking in the shade would reduce the increase in temperature slightly, but certainly not enough to safely leave your pet in the car.
HEAT STROKE OR HYPOTHERMIA
Although most commonly seen in dogs, heat stroke can affect all animals. If you think your pet is in distress, phone your veterinarian immediately for advice. Your quick actions could save your pet's life.
A pet suffering from heat stroke may initially appear distressed and be hot to touch. It will pant excessively and become restless, listless and/or disoriented. As the situation worsens the animal may drool copious volumes of saliva and become unsteady on its feet. You may notice its gums become a bluish-purple or bright red colour due to the inadequate oxygen supply to the tissues. As the body temperature continues to climb the animal will collapse, become comatose and may soon die.
If you think your pet may be suffering from heatstroke, immediately put it in a shaded area and cool it, either by immersing it in a bath of cool (not cold) water, or by soaking it in running water from a hose or under a tap (after first running off any hot water). Keep your pet wet and if possible, use a fan or air-conditioner to maintain airflow over the body. If the animal is conscious offer it small amounts of cool (not cold) drinking water.
Seek immediate veterinary attention for your pet as intensive care may be required to save its life. Keep it damp in the car on your way to the vet and keep the air conditioning on, if possible with the air vents positioned to blow cool air over the animal.
Cats are generally more tolerant of heat than dogs, but rabbits have a low tolerance to heat. Guinea pigs do not tolerate heat or humidity well and are also susceptible to sudden changes in the temperature and weather. Pet rats and mice are also susceptible to heat, humidity and sudden temperature changes and are best kept in an area where the temperature does not exceed 27ºC.
OTHER TIPS FOR SUMMER
With a little care and a few precautions your pets can comfortably enjoy the summer months.
239851 - 2023-07-18 04:43:53