Today's weather is acting as a not-so-friendly reminder that we're well and truly in the heart of summer, and while we're frantically trying to avoid the heat ourselves, it's important to remember we're not the only ones who heat up during heatwaves!
On scorching days such as today and to come, it's imperative to have a plan to help keep your furry friend cool - especially if they're kept outside while you head off to work.
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has put together a quick list of easy tips to help your pet beat the heat and avoid any heat-related illnesses.
- Make sure there is plenty of cool, fresh water available at all times in a shady area
- Make sure your pets have multiple shady areas to go to over the day - remember, the sun will move to almost every part of your backyard during the day!
- If you own a longhaired dog, consider giving them a trim - even if you just do it yourself (carefully)
- Avoid exercise in the hottest part of the day: if you decide to take them for a walk, try and go early in the morning or later in the evening after the day has cooled down
- If your dog is typically kept outside - and you're at home - consider bringing them inside with you to cool off in the aircon or with a fan
It's also important to note that as your pet gets older, they'll struggle more with the heat - especially those with mobility and breathing problems; please keep a keen eye on your elderly pets!
AVA President, Dr Paula Parker said that pets are just as susceptible to heat-related illnesses as we are:
“Veterinarians receive numerous calls from concerned pet owners during summer heatwaves seeing worrying signs like lethargy, excessive panting or breathing problems. But there are simple tips that can help to prevent or minimise problems.
“Pets, such as cats and dogs, cool off through the pads of their feet and tongues. They need to pant to regulate their temperature, and dogs and cats with long hair can be more susceptible to the effects of heat.
“It’s important that owners take precautions to protect their pets from heat-related health issues,” Dr Parker said.
Keep yourself and your pet cool this summer - it's gonna be a stinker!