Heat stress in pets

It's another hot day in Sydney today. Are your pets about to stay out of the heat? I have unfortunately seen the affects of heat stress in pets and have been unlucky enough to see patients die!

Do you know the signs to look out for?

5 signs of heat stroke in dogs

5 signs of heat stroke in cats

If you think that your pet is starting to show signs of heat stress or suffering from heat stress it is important to take them out of the heat and start cooling them down by covering them in cool wet towels or giving them a cool bath. If there are any signs of respiratory distress (breathing difficulties) at all they should be taken immediately to the closest veterinary hospital.

Hot day tips, tricks & ideas:

  • Make your dog some frozen pupsicles by filling an empty ice cream container with water, some of your dogs favourite treats & maybe a small amount of reduced salt chicken stock. For smaller dogs I have seen clients do the same thing but using plastic cups instead of ice cream containers
  • Make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water available - it is a good idea to make sure that there are at least two water bowls outside just in case they knock one over or drink it all.
  • A kennel in full sun is NOT considered shade or a cool area that your dog can escape too - kennels can heat up rapidly in full sun.
  • Never assume that you're dog will stop running, jumping and exercising when they are too hot. Many dogs love playing so much that they will run around until they collapse and I've seen dogs die because their owners thought that they would stop running when they were too hot but they didn't.
  • Take them for a swim - as long as they enjoy the water
  • Play with them with the hose - I know my dog Jack loves playing with the hose, not so much a fan of the pool though!
  • Turn the sprinkler on & watch them have a great time! Just be careful that if they are barking and biting at the water that they don't get too excited and end up with a lung full of water or overheating from excitement.
  • Animals will light coloured noses will also need pet safe zinc or sunscreen applied.

The RSPCA is currently running an awareness campaign about the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars. I have taken the pledge to keep my best mate safe; will you? 

Pledge here

If you have any concerns about your pet's health you should call you local veterinarian.




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  1. […] Any pet that is suffering from heat stress should be examined by a veterinarian. For more information about heat stress in dogs and cats click here to a previous blog post. […]

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