Summer Tips for Pets
Pet Insurance Australia is urging all Australians to remember to keep their pets cool this Summer.
“It’s that time of year again when we really need to make some adjustments to ensure that our pets are kept cool and safe during the summer period,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “Some basic steps can literally mean the difference between life and death during this time of year.”
Some tips include:
- SHADE – Checking your pet has ample shade and erecting shade cloth. This may include monitoring the space, as many areas which are shaded first thing in the morning, become sun-drenched during the peak of the day.
- HAIR – Clipping long-haired breeds. Many pet owners choose to clip their animals around this time of year to help with over-heating.
- WATER – Keep a few water bowls around the home and steer clear of using stainless steel bowls. These types of water bowls heat up very quickly during warmer weather.
- CREATIVE – get creative, not only will it help with boredom it can also help keep your pet cool. Frozen ice-cream containers with treats make a wonderful chunk of playful ice (or ice-cubes for cats). Children’s clam-shell half filled with water is also a great cool-off spot for a dog.
- SUN SMART – walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, and be diligent. If your dog is overly panting, it’s time to stop and relax. Always touch the back of pavements with the back of your hand before heading off for a walk. If it’s too hot for you, it will be too hot for your dog’s paws. Consider sun-screen or sun-suits for white dogs and keep white cats inside and away from direct sunlight.
It’s also a good time to remember to never leave your pet in a hot car. The research says it all; dogs die quickly in hot cars.
Many studies have now concluded that even with the windows cracked, the internal temperature of a car will rise at the same rate as with the windows closed. In fact, 80% of the final temperature rise occurs in the first 30mins and cracking a window is not effective in decreasing either the rate of the heat increases, or the maximum temperature reached.
“A Standford University study revealed that when it’s only 22 degrees outside, the temperature inside your car will rise to a staggering 47.2 degrees within 60 minutes,” Crighton says. “If it’s hot outside, your cars internal temperature will climb to an unbearable and life-threatening level. You can try this yourself, sit in a car for a few minutes with the windows cracked and see how quickly you become uncomfortable, for a dog, this can be a death sentence.”
PIA is warning of the importance of pet owners understanding the early signs of heatstroke. Dogs and cats die very quickly from heatstroke unless it is treated immediately.