By Julia Hammond
Everyone enjoys Summer, but none of us like it when the mercury peaks above 40. Since we’ve been experiencing more and more flash heat waves over the years we thought it was time to prepare you for the next one. Here’s a guide for helping your pets through the Summer heat.
Provide shade for peace of mind
A lot of pets still enjoy a stint outdoors even when it’s hot. If you’ll be leaving them home alone while you’re at work you can’t guarantee they won’t sneak out the dog door to explore. Making sure there’s plenty of shady awnings and trees in your backyard will put your mind at ease knowing they have some refuge from the heat.
Lots of water and a friendly supervisor
Sharon Moore, from Petcarers Victoria, is passionate about all animals and keeping them safe. Here’s how she helps her furry friends handle a hot day.
“Provide multiple water sources: dogs paddle in their water bowls to stay cool, pets drink more than normal, bowls get tipped over, and water evaporates in the heat.
Ask a friend or neighbour to check on them throughout the day: They can top up water bowls, put large ice blocks in to keep them cool or put frozen water bottles in with hutch animals.”
Set up a cool corner of the house
Dr Sue is the CEO and founder of i-Vet – the world’s first virtual veterinary clinic. If there was one thing she recommends to protect your pets this Summer it’s giving them a cool hideaway.
“One very simple trick for keeping our pets cool in summer is to provide a raised bed made from a fabric that allows airflow. Place this in a cool area to encourage your pet to seek it out.
Your vet is a great source of specific advice on caring for your pet, and a local groomer can let you know if clipping is a good option. I also encourage all owners to practice checking for signs of dehydration.”
Be considerate when taking them outdoors
Melanie Griffiths is a pet expert and blogger from Australian pet sitting community Mad Paws. She shared two easy ways to beat the heat for your pets.
1. Walking your dog:
During summer, the pavement can be hot enough to burn your dog’s sensitive paw pads. Before walking your dog, hold the back of your hand to the ground – if you can keep it there for over 10 seconds, it is cool enough not to harm your dog.
2. Pets in cars:
Don’t leave your pet in the car this summer! Dogs in particular, cannot regulate their temperatures as well as humans and will become fatally ill very, very quickly. If you must take them with you, leave them tied up in the shade.
Look out for the little ones
Smaller pets like rabbits, guinea pigs and birds can overheat much quicker than other animals. You wouldn’t be too pleased if your carer left you to roast in the sun so don’t do that to your pets. Make sure their home is away from direct sunlight and well equipped for the hot weather. For cage dwelling pets you can always drape a cool, damp towel across their cage or provide a frozen ice pack so they cool off quickly themselves.
Keeping your pets cool in Summer is essential. It only takes a few extra steps to prepare your home so that your furry friend is well taken care of.
Originally published at MyDeal.com.au on January 15, 2018.