The heatwave continues in Australia with temperatures expecting to hit 37C and up. Some may see temperatures rise above 40C. . When it’s especially hot outside, we change our own habits to acclimate to the weather. How about your pets? Read on for helpful tips to keep your pets safe, including an easy infographic about Pet Safety and Hot Temperatures.
Keep Pets Indoors
We all know it is dangerous to have your pets in the sweltering heat of summer. Cars heat up quickly once in the summer sun. Plan to leave your fur-babies behind in the cooler temperatures in your house. Plus: receive those doggie kisses when you get home!
When they go outside temporarily for walks or to do their business, be sure you have them on a leash or enclosed back yard. It is easy for dogs to become disoriented in hotter temperatures with lack of water. Sometimes, they may wonder off. This is a good reminder to be sure your pet’s collar has current contact information or they are micro-chipped. If someone else finds them, these resources are extremely important.
Keep Your Pet Hydrated
This seems to be logical, but often you can lose track of time on how long you are outside. Remember your dog is wearing a fur coat and their body temperatures are naturally higher than humans. Be sure to keep cold water outside for your dog to drink. Consider using a hose to cool them off, or providing a baby pool of water for your dog to wade in. Anything that can give your dog some relief will pay off in the end to keep them hydrated.
Know Signs of Overheating
You know your dog, so you most likely will know when they are close to overheating. Just as humans can suffer in the extreme heat, so can dogs. They can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke and sudden cardiac arrest due to the high temperatures.
Here are the signs of an overheated dog:
- Panting too fast
- Noisy breathing
If you suspect your dog of overheating, here is what you should do:
- Hydrate your dog as soon as possible
- Use cool, wet towels or water to get their body temperatures lowered
- If you feel your dog is at the danger zone of being overheated, contact your veterinarian or make a visit to the Pet ER hospital. Often at these facilities, they will provide cool fluids, and even an IV, if fluids are needed immediately.
Keep Paws Away from Hot Pavement
On an average summer day, the asphalt can get as hot as 60 degrees Celsius. You most likely have shoes on when walking on it. Your dog is using their paws, and they can get burned. The easiest solution is to walk your dog when it’s cooler outside. However, if you are going out, here is what you can do to protect your dog’s paws:
- Protect their paws with a special protection wax. There are many products on the market to protect paws. A quick internet search will give you many options. Even a quick coating of petroleum jelly will help give their paws some slight protection.
- Be sure to keep your dog in the grass if there is some available.
- When running and walking in the beach, let your dog go in the water as often as possible.
Then once you are home, use a towel and water to wash your dog’s feet. This will help keep them moisturized and clean for many walks to come.
Watch for Signs of Arthritis
According to Petmd.com, arthritis is fast becoming one of the most common health problems seen by veterinarians. Just as in humans, hot weather can make joints swell and ache more, thus the signs of arthritis more apparent.
Unfortunately, 4 out of 5 dogs by age 8 will have signs. An even more surprising statistic is 1 out of 5 dogs will have signs of arthritis by the time they are one year old! Of course, this says just as all humans age differently, dogs age differently too, depending on a variety of factors. The best thing is to know what to look for to detect arthritis.
Some common signs of arthritis to look for include:
- Hesitation or visible discomfort when getting up in the morning after sleeping
- Hesitation or visible discomfort when jumping into a car, going up stairs or getting out of bed
- Lack of willingness to play as often as they once did
- Less activity, more sleeping
As humans and dogs age, arthritis becomes more likely. For dogs, there are certain breeds with a higher propensity for osteoarthritis in dogs. Many people believe their cats sleep because they are just really tired. Just in case, take the risk assessment to find out. There are many risk factors associated including breed, size and weight of dogs. Find out the risk of your pets by clicking this link: Take the dog arthritis quiz
Once you fill out the information, you will see the initial assessment based on your answers and receive an email with the results.
No matter what you do, keep you and your pets safe in the hot temperatures.