RSPCA ACT wants to make sure all our furry friends have a great summer! Here is their advice on caring for pets during intense heat:
- Did you know that your pet can experience sunburn and heatstroke? Provide shade and other sun barriers whenever possible to reduce their overall sun exposure. Don’t forget the sunscreen! It’s a good idea to use a non-toxic, hypoallergenic sunscreen formulated specifically for use on pets.
- Recognise the signs of heatstroke.This includes, but not limited to, excessive panting, weakness, vomiting, lethargy and eventually unconsciousness and death. Please ensure your pet has access to shade and clean water at all times. Dr Rachel Chay, Chief Veterinary Director at Greencross Vets, says if you suspect your pet is suffering heatstroke take them to your vet immediately. First aid techniques include drizzling water on your pet’s head, stomach, neck, inner thighs and pads of the feet or wrapping your pet in a cool, wet towel to cool them down.
- If your pet enjoys a long walk or run, it’s best to save that for early morning or evening when the day (and ground) has had time to cool down. Their paws can actually be burnt from cement if we’re not careful!
- Despite what many people may believe, not all animals can swim! For example, some dog breeds actually find it quite difficult such as Bulldogs, Corgis and Greyhounds. If you take your pet to the water, ensure they’re supervised at all times and you may even want to invest in a pet life jacket. That way they can be stylishly cute and safe.
- Make sure wherever you’re going on holiday allows animals. Some beaches and campsites that normally allow them may have different rules during busy periods. Additionally, if you’re going to be on the road for extended periods, try and take the most direct route possible. Consider getting a copy of your pet’s medical history in case something unexpected happens. It’s a good idea to visit the vet for a health check-up before taking your pet on holiday.
- It only takes six minutes for an animal to die in a hot car. Additionally, if your pet travels on the back of a ute, do a touch test of the area first to ensure it won’t burn.