As we are heading into the middle of the summer season, we have compiled a few pointers to keep our furry friends cool and prevent heat stroke from happening. Cats and dogs that are brachycephalic (flat faces), obese, old or covered in thick coat are especially susceptible to overheating so here’s what we can do to help them out:
- Shaded areas should be provided for dogs that are outdoors
- Cats and dogs kept indoors should have a fan or air-conditioning left on for them if possible
- Access to clean drinking water should be provided at all times
- Exercises and walks should be done at a cooler time of the day, this is also to prevent their feet from getting burned on the hot ground. *Tip: if you are unable to keep your bare hands touching the ground, it will be too hot for walks.
- Frozen treats can be given to pets as an added enrichment
- Pets with a thick coat should be clipped short if possible
What to look out for in dogs with heat stroke:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive salivation
- Bright red gums and tongue which turn to blue
- Vomiting, diarrhoea
- Anxious pacing, lack of coordination, wobbly
- Collapse and coma
First Aid for pets that have heat stroke:
- For smaller pets, soak a towel in cool water (NOT ICE WATER) and drizzle it on to your pets’ head, stomach, neck, inner thighs and paw pads. Do not leave the towel on your pets as it can cause them to heat up.
- For larger pets, you can gently hose or bathe them with cool water(NOT ICE WATER) followed by cool towels applies to their heads and stomach.
- Bring your pet in to see a veterinarian once basic first aid has been provided, especially if your pet is showing more severe signs.