– pets which are overweight, have a thick heavy coat or are of a flat-faced breed, which is prone to breathing difficulties, are all more prone to heatstroke.
𝙍𝙖𝙗𝙗𝙞𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙂𝙪𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙖 𝙥𝙞𝙜𝙨
– Rabbits and guinea pigs of any age are susceptible to heatstroke because they have very few ways of getting rid of excess heat. As prey species, they are experts at hiding any evidence of distress.
𝗡𝗕: Long-haired breeds, pregnancy and being overweight are some of the factors which make certain individuals more prone to heatstroke.
To help protect your pets during warm weather spells, and minimise the risk of any sun-related injuries, here are a few simple things you can do at home:
Do not wait for your pet to appear thirsty or beg for water, ensure that it is readily available in a shady area, out of direct sunlight, and ensure their bowls are clean so that it stays nice and fresh, and they want to drink from it.
Only exercise your dog during the coolest part of the day and keep extra strenuous exercise to a minimum throughout periods of hot weather.
When taking your dog for a walk you should ensure you have a fresh supply of water with you.
It’s important that your pet has access to a cool area in the house or hutch out of direct sunlight to go and relax and ensure the area has an ample amount of airflow and remains well ventilated throughout the day.
If your rabbit or guinea pig is kept in a hutch then you should move this into a shaded area, or inside of the house, depending on where their hutch is located.
Dogs and cats can get burned when they endure prolonged sun exposure, and as a result, can suffer from red, inflamed skin which is painful and irritated; resulting in scaly skin, and hair loss.
Use a 𝗽𝗲𝘁–𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲 (not human) sun cream, especially on pets with thin or white fur, focussing primarily on their nose and ears to protect them from harmful UV rays.
Never leave a pet in a sun room. Temperatures, even on a cloudy day can rocket, and heatstroke can happen quickly and can be fatal, and a minute may be just too long, as temperatures in such environments can rise dramatically within a very short space of time.
– Always keep a supply of fresh cool water and a dish with you for your pets.
– Ensure there is fresh air circulating through the vehicle, either from an open window, or air conditioning.
– Keep road tripping to a minimum.
𝗞𝗲𝗲𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗼𝗹
If you’re seeking some further ideas for ways to keep your 𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗼𝗴 cool, and entertained at the same time, you could make some frozen treat cubes, let them play with a cold/damp towel, provide a cooling mat, place fans around the house, provide a paddling pool, or put some toys in the freezer to cool them down.
𝗗𝗼𝗻𝗼𝘁𝘂𝘀𝗲 ice or ice-cold water as this can cause shock.
For a 𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗯𝗶𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗴𝘂𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗮𝗽𝗶𝗴, you could freeze a water bottle and wrap it in a towel. They can then snuggle up to the bottle to cool down. You may also choose to give them some fresh vegetables. Before putting them in their hutch, wash them and leave a little water on them to add to their water intake.
If your pet gets too hot, you should wrap them in a damp towel, and continue to change it regularly and monitor their symptoms. It is important to note that you should not use ice-cold water or ice as this could shock their body and worsen the problem.
If your pet is presenting symptoms or you are concerned about your pet and heatstroke, you should contact your Vet immediately.
This article is produced by SAVetshops, in the interest of informing people and sharing information. It is not considered a reference article or a definitive medical reference. Source references are listed below and any person wishing to know more should consult these references, their local vet, state health service or doctor.