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Keep Your Pets Safe in Hot Weather

Dog drinking water

During the summer months it is important to take extra care with your pets.

Dogs and cats don't lose heat by sweating; they lose excess body heat by panting and through their paws. When an animal is left in the full sun or an enclosed space it's body temperature will increase quickly resulting in heatstroke.

Below are some suggestions to help make our pets more comfortable.

Preventing heat stress for animals

  • Never leave your pet in a car on a hot day.
  • On hot days it is best to walk your dog earlier in the day or later in the evening. By avoiding the hottest part of the day you will both avoid possible dehydration and sunburn. Your pet will also avoid damaged paws due to walking on hot surfaces.
  • All pets must be provided with cool and shaded areas. Dogs and cats have the freedom to move in and out of shade as they please however smaller pets confined in cages or aviaries are limited to where they can move to.
  • Ensure your pets have plenty of water available to them at all times.
  • An animal in discomfort can be lightly sprayed with water. Dogs can be bathed or provided with a small wading pool to splash in. Birds should not be allowed to get too wet as it may cause shock. Smaller caged pets can have a wet towel draped over their cage or a frozen pack provided for the animal to lean on.
  • Pets can also suffer from sunburn, especially those with white or light pigmented skin. Noses and ears in particular are prone to sunburn. Sunscreen can be used to help prevent burning, however you should seek advice from your vet before using it.

What should I do if my pet is suffering from heat stress?

  • Immediately move your pet into a cooler area. Provide the animal with cold water encouraging it to drink.
  • You can cool your pet down using cool water or water soaked towels applied to the belly, groin and inside the legs. Replace the towels when they become warm.
  • Seek veterinary attention as soon as possible - see our Local Vets in Knox page.
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