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How to keep your pets cool in the summer – warning signs to look for in hot weather


SUMMER is finally here, with people basking in the glorious sunshine once again.

Although most of us love the heat, it’s important to know how to protect our beloved pets, as dogs and cats can struggle to cope with soaring temperatures.

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Learn to recognize the signs of your pet struggling with the heatCredit: Getty

SIGNS OF PETS FIGHTING IN HEAT

Just like humans, pets can become dehydrated and lose their appetite when overheated.

This is not a cause for concern unless the change is dramatic and/or they start vomiting after meals.

The dog breeds most likely to suffer from the heat are pugs, bulldogs, greyhounds, and anyone with a thick fur coat.

It’s also important to remember that dark-haired dogs absorb more heat through their fur and light-haired dogs are more susceptible to sunburn.

How to keep your pets cool in the summer – warning signs to look for in hot weather
How to keep your pets cool in the summer – warning signs to look for in hot weather

WHAT SIGNS SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

DOGS

  • heavy gasping
  • Stumbling or disorientation
  • Slept more often than usual
  • Their tongue may fall out of their mouth
  • Their tongue or gums may turn bright pink or red
  • They may have a dry mouth with a buildup of mucus

CATS

  • heavy gasping
  • Drool
  • Slept more often than usual
  • Restlessness or always trying to find a cool place
  • Stumbling or disorientation
  • Sweaty paws
  • They may groom excessively in an attempt to stay cool
  • Their tongue or gums may turn bright pink or red

HOW CAN I KEEP MY PET COOL IN THE HEAT?

It is important to remember that your pets cannot tell you when they are in pain.

But there are lots of easy things you can do to make sure your little pets stay cool during the summer.

Here are some helpful tips:

DOGS

  • Make sure they always have access to plenty of fresh water
  • But don’t let them drink too much too soon or they might vomit.
  • Avoid walks around midday – when it’s likely to be hottest
  • Avoid strenuous exercise between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Move your dog to a cool, shady place if it gets too hot, and sponge cool water on his abdomen, armpits, and feet
  • If you keep them indoors, make sure they can access a shaded area
  • Avoid walking your dog on dark, hot surfaces that absorb sunlight as this will burn his paws
  • Do not feed your dog within an hour of exercise as this may cause bloating and gastrointestinal issues.
  • If your dog doesn’t have a lot of hair, apply sunscreen to exposed skin, especially around his ears.
  • If your dog has a lot of hair, consider trimming his coat to help him cope with warmer temperatures.
  • Cooling coats are also an option – these are jackets that can be chilled and worn by your dog to keep them cool
How to keep your pets cool in the summer – warning signs to look for in hot weather
How to keep your pets cool in the summer – warning signs to look for in hot weather

CATS

  • Make sure they have plenty of fresh water
  • Brush them regularly
  • Put on a fan or air conditioning to keep areas cool
  • Move them to a cool place if they haven’t managed to make it on their own
  • Make sure there is always access to shade outside
  • Try to keep them out between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Feed them little and often – food left warm can pick up bad bacteria and make them sick
  • Cats can also burn, so apply lotion to them if they have very thin or thin coats – the ears are often a problem area
  • Cut their coat to keep it short
How to keep your pets cool in the summer – warning signs to look for in hot weather

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There are several things you can do to keep your pet cool in the summer.Credit: Getty

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