Summer is here with a lot of the country battling drought and bushfires; we mustn't forget about our four-legged companions. High temperatures and smoke pollution can take a toll on our beloved pets just as it affects us. Here are some tips to help ensure your pets are kept comfortable throughout summer.

 

Tips for safety during high temperatures

With temperatures hitting the 40s, it's more important than ever to make sure we are putting  in measures to prevent heat stress and other heat-related conditions.

  • Make sure pets have plenty of access to clean, cool water. Regularly change water to prevent it from heating up if outside.
  • Place ice cubes into your dog's water. It is better to add ice to water rather than give dogs ice cubes or ice blocks as ice can cause choking hazards or break teeth.
  • Provide plenty of shade for your pets to lie in when outside.
  • Paddling pools are fun way for dogs to cool off. Just make sure they are supervised.
  • Allow your pets access to air conditioned or fanned rooms where they can relax and cool down.
  • Freeze a bottle of water and wrap it in a towel, placing it in your pets favourite spot can provide a nice cool resting place.
  • Mist spray bottles are ideal for cooling down birds if they enjoy being sprayed.
  • Wetting a tea towel or lightweight cloth with cold water can help take the edge off the heat in hutches for rabbits and guinea pigs. Just make sure the cloth isn't too heavy as this can stifle ventilation and make the heat worse.
  • Before walking your dog check the pavement isn't too hot. If you can't hold your hand on the ground for longer than 3 seconds, then it is too hot for your dog. Go for an early morning or late afternoon walk when temperatures have cooled.
  • Never leave your pet in your car. Temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels.


Tips for safety during smoky conditions

The thick smoke covering parts of the state not only threaten the airways of people, but it also impacts the breathing ability for our pets.

  • Closely monitor all pets with pre-existing respiratory issues.. If their condition worsens, take them to a vet.
  • Try and keep pets with pre-existing conditions indoors.
  • Cats can be more susceptible to the smoke as they are more prone to suffer from asthma and allergic airway diseases. Where possible keep cats in doors and monitor.
  • Healthy dogs with no pre-existing issues are okay to stay outside or go for a walk; however, use judgement. If walking or playing outside and your dog is struggling stop and take them inside. When the smoke haze is dense, keep outdoor activity to a minimum. 
  • Keep outdoor aviaries and hutches well ventilated.
  • Regularly change your pet's water which may become polluted with ash.
  • Wash your pets regularly as ash can stick to fur and feathers.

 

As the primary carer of your pets, you know them best. If they don't seem themselves and they don't appear to be coping, take them to a vet. 

 

 

Sources

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