It’s getting towards that time of year down under, Summertime! The weather starts to warm up and the days get longer. Yesterday we had one of the hottest November days in Melbourne for years, hitting its highest on the thermometer at 39 degrees Celsius.
It’s time to crank up the air cons and dust off those fans to take a look at some of the ways you can keep your pets cool on a rather warm day.
- Always ensure plenty of fresh drinking water and shade is available: make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean and cool drinking water (preferably in the shade) as well as somewhere shady to go so they can stay out of the sun. If you are home, why not let them come inside where it’s cooler? It’s a good idea to have at least two bowls outside, in case one gets knocked over.
- Put some ice blocks in their water bowl: this will help to keep the water cooler for longer, and also gives your pet a bit of a treat (if they like ice that is). The Border Collie and the Beagle both enjoy fishing the ice blocks out of the water to crunch on.
- Make a special treat, a Pupsicle: simple and easy to make, pupsicles are a great treat on a warm day. Put some treats into a plastic cup and then fill with water. Freeze overnight and there you have it, one pupsicle, simple as that! I usually loosen the pupsicle up a bit by running cold water over the outside and then give it to them in their bowl outside. This treat keeps them busy and cool because they lick the ice down to get to the treats inside!
- Don’t exercise during the warmest part of the day: restrict exercise to early in the morning or later in the evening once it has cooled down. Don’t walk them in the middle of the day when the sun is the hottest as this will be unpleasant not only for you, but could cause heat stress really quickly for your dog.
- Wet your pet down to help them cool off: if it’s really warm then wet your pet a little bit to help them cool off via evaporation. For cats, rub damp hands over their coat or along their tummy or stand them in a sink of water so just their paws are covered. For the dogs, make sure their coat is saturated but don’t pour the water over them too quickly. You can also consider a wading pool for your dog in the shade, as some dogs like to lay down in the water to stay cool.
- Never leave your dog in the car: cars can heat up rather quickly and cause heat stress so you should never, ever leave your dog (or your cat) in the car, even if it’s overcast but still warm.
If you see any serious signs of heat stress in your pet such as: heavy panting (dogs), lethargy, profuse salivation, rapid pulse, loss of coordination, vomiting or red gums and tongue, take your pet straight down to your local vet or emergency animal centre.
How do your pets keep cool in the heat?