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Protect your pets from heat and bushfires

January 4, 2013
Protect your pet from heat and bushfire

Protect your pets from heat and bushfires

While many of us will find ourselves complaining about the hot weather over the next few days, we need to keep in mind that our faithful friends also feel the heat. With temperatures across Australia set to soar in excess of 30 degrees over the next seven days, we urge all pet owners to keep a close eye on their furry friends.

Northern Victoria is forecast to experience some of the nation’s highest temperatures over the next week, with most days reaching in excess of 40 degrees.

Echuca shelter manager Kate Kemp said all precautions were being taken to keep their residents safe from the heat, “Residents will receive icy pole type treats to keep them hydrated and entertained. For the very hot days, our residents will not be walked, however, they will still have 10-minutes play time outside where there is a paddle pool available for cooling off and shaded areas so the residents can get away from the sun rays.”

“We are very fortunate to have an air-conditioned facility where all our residents are housed inside, making it easier for us to keep them cool and secure over the warmer months,” she added.

Senior Veterinarian at The Lost Dogs’ Home Frank Samways
Veterinary Clinic, Dr Alan Bolton said owners should keep a close eye on the weather and their pets as heat stress in cats and dogs occurs when they are unable to maintain their normal body temperature,

“An animal suffering from heat exhaustion will pant excessively, salivate and show signs of increased agitation. If unattended, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke and sometimes prove to be fatal. Consult your vet immediately should your pet exhibit any of these signs or starts vomiting.”

Dr Bolton encouraged pet owners to not leave their beloved dogs and cats unattended during hot weather for extended lengths of time,

“Try to stay at home or have someone at home with your pet to keep an eye on how they’re going. Have fresh, cold water and shade available at all times or bring them inside into an air-conditioned environment.”

“Most importantly, do not leave your pet unattended in a vehicle,” he added.

Keeping your pets cool in the heat

  • Have fresh, cold water available at all times
  • Ensure your pet has shade at all times or bring your pets inside into a cool room
  • Wipe your pet down with a cool, damp towel or leave wet towels out for your pet to lie on
  • Wet your dog with cool water several times throughout the heat of the day
  • Consider buying a wading pool for your dog
  • For cats, rub damp hands over their coat or along their tummy
  • Place ice blocks in your pet’s water bowl
  • Place ice in a pillow case and place it near your pet
  • Consider having your dog clipped if their coat is long and thick


Fire safety

Australians know all too well the heartache and loss experienced as a result of bushfires. The Lost Dogs’ Home reminds all pet owners when devising and implementing a bushfire survival plan, to also take into consideration their pets.

“This includes planning for the safety and survival of your pets whether they are at home with you or brought along on holidays in bush fire prone areas. All pet owners should have a Bushfire Survival Plan that includes their pets,” said the Home’s general manager of shelter operations Ms Conroy.

“Your pets should at all times be identified with a collar identification tag and a microchip corresponding to your current contact details. It is also a good idea to include a second or emergency contact, preferably a person who lives outside your district, perhaps in an area which is not bushfire-prone,” she added.

You can find out which microchip register your pet is registered with by checking your microchip registration certificate or you can call the National Pet Register for assistance on 1300 734 738 .

For more information on pets and fire safety read the Country Fire Authority and The Lost Dogs’ Home’s Pets and Bushfires factsheet at