We’ve had an interesting summer so far with higher than average temperatures at the end of Spring, and lower than average temperatures through December. Luckily, we haven’t experienced the devastating bushfires that the beginning of 2020 endured.
But weather seems to be warming up in Sydney, and this can lead to potential heat stroke and exhaustion in pets if they are outside for long periods of time in extreme temperatures. An interesting fact is that certain breeds/animals are predisposed. They are, brachycephalic animals (their little squashed faces like Pugs, Persians etc) can find it harder to breathe. Overweight dogs, older dogs that have trouble getting up, young dogs that play too hard and then collapse, and pocket pets such as guinea pigs, rabbits etc.
Typical signs of heat exhaustion and sun stroke in pets are:
- Excessive, persistent panting
- Excessive salivation
- rapid or laboured breathing
- Unable to get up, laying on side
- Gum colour brick red or pale
How to avoid it heat stroke?
On those incredibly hot days, it’s advisable (if you can) to keep the air conditioning on and bring your pets inside. You must avoid playing/walking in the hottest part of the day and do not walk on hot concrete/roads and this can burn their pads. Always make sure they have plenty of shade, and make sure pocket pets are kept in the shade, or if possible bring them inside too. If they have access to digging that’s great! Dirt keeps them cool. It’s advisable to offer more than one large water bowl/bucket and Iced treats are fantastic. You could also do the following:
- Grab a container, fill with water and put in the freezer to make extra-large ice blocks! You can put it in their water.
- Have a container filled with beef stock that has been frozen
- If you have Kong toys, fill with soaked dry food then frozen
Take care as smaller pets can lose heat very quickly if left wet. Do not leave wet towels on animals as this can trap heat.