What a great time lies ahead for us in South Africa as temperatures climb and the days become longer. There is also however, a higher risk for our fur kids – more strains and sprains, insect bites, pollen and the big one, the dreaded heat stroke. Pets easily become over-heated as they do not manage heat the same way we do. In this artcile we would like to offer a few tips to pet owners for a safe, healthy and fun summer time!
1. Heat stroke, recognise the signs early:
A dog’s normal temperature is 38 to 39.2 Celsius, while a normal temperature in cats ranges from 37.5 to 39 Celsius. Higher than that means your pet may be in danger. Dogs and cats don’t sweat like we do. They drink water and pant to bring down their body temperature.
Look out for some of these possible signs of overheating:
Dry or bright red gums
If your pet any of these signs, move them to a cool place, give them a drink of water, put a damp towel over their body, and take them to the vet asap. Avoid placing them in cold water, that can put them into shock.
2. Provide plenty of water and shade
Dehydration is a very real danger in both dogs and cats. Signs of dehydration include dry gums and excessive drooling. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water inside your home and bring a bottle for your furry companion when going outside. Another useful hint may be to switch to a wet dog food during the hotter months to increase fluid intake.
3. Apply sunscreen
If you are planning to spend a day out in the sun with your furry companion, apply sunscreen every 3-4 hours to the least hair-covered spots: bellies, ears, and nose. Use only sunscreens made specifically for pets.
4. Never, ever, leave a pet in a parked car
It can take less than 10 minutes to develop heat stroke in dogs and cats inside the hot vehicle.
5. Don’t shave your pet
You might think shaving your dog or kitty for the summer is a good idea. But a pet’s coat is naturally designed to help them stay cool during the summer and warm in the winter. Trimming a bit is fine, but don’t take too much off