News and Media

The Hot Weather and Your Pet

January 28, 2009

With the recent hot weather we have put together some tips on what pet owners can do to keep their fluffy, furry and feathered friends cool over the next few days.

Suggestions for keeping pets cool during really hot weather:

  • Supply fresh cold water in the shade
  • Place ice blocks in your pet’s water bowl
  • Ensure your pet has shade and limit exercise during the hot parts of the day. It is best to walk only early in the morning or very late in the evening
  • Wipe your pet down with a cool towel or leave wet towels for your pet to lie on
  • Cats – rub damp hands over their coat or along their tummy
  • Put cool packs (ice packs) in pillow cases and place them near your pet, see if they like the extra cool
  • Wet your pet down. When doing this don’t pour the water over your pet too quickly. Make sure the coat is saturated.
  • Do not use ice cold water to wipe them down or pour over as if they cool too quickly, they can go into shock
  • Cats don’t like water generally so BE CAREFUL if washing them down. It may stress them more than the heat.
  • Cats can be cooled down by standing them in a sink of water with the water covering their paws
  • Place a fan on the floor level away from your pet, if they want to they will go towards it.
  • Keep animals quiet and in a room with cool surfaces such as tiled floors. Provide a bed so they have an option of somewhere comfortable to sit if they want to.
  • Consider a wading pool for your dog; many love to lie down in the water. Place it in the shade.

How does a cat or a dog cool down?

Dogs

  • Cool down by panting
  • sweats from underarms, under the chin or from its belly

Cats

  • Panting
  • Cool by grooming and licking their coats

Hot Weather for Dogs and Cats

If you have an animal that appears heat stressed you should contact your local Vet Clinic or Animal Emergency Centre ASAP.

Signs of Heat Stress

Heat stress or heat stroke occurs when animals are confined in hot environments.
Hot cars are a real danger for animals.
All animals can be affected by heat stress, and some dog breeds are more predisposed to heat-related illnesses. Dogs most likely to suffer from heat stress are those with pre-existing breathing problems and short-nosed breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese and Boxers. Symptoms include excessive salivating, weakness, lethargy, shaking, dry nose and gums, whining and constant panting. If pets exhibit these symptoms, a vet should be consulted immediately.