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Help your animals beat the heat

30 June 2015

People caring for animals are advised to take extra steps to ensure they don't suffer in hot weather.

The States Vet, Linda Lowseck, is reminding people to pay extra attention to their animals and alter their routine if necessary to prevent overheating.

Tips for caring for animals in hot weather

  • never leave pets in a car on a hot day. Unlike humans, dogs can cool themselves only by panting and sweating through their paw pads, and they can die if their body temperature exceeds 41 degrees. On a 26-degree day the temperature inside a vehicle parked in the sun can rise rapidly to dangerous levels
  • limit exercise on hot days to early morning or evening hours. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is high, they can't cool themselves, and their temperature can rise to dangerous levels quickly
  • watch out for sunburn. Pay particular attention to pets with white-coloured ears, who are more susceptible to sunburn, and short-nosed pets, who can have difficulty breathing Tarmac gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to offer your dog to prevent dehydration
  • provide plenty of fresh water and somewhere for your animal to shelter from the sun.  If your animal is outside in the shade, take account of the changing position of the sun
  • check animals daily for fly strike. It affects mainly rabbits and sheep but it can affect other animals. Flies are typically attracted by soiled fur or wool where they lay eggs which hatch into maggots on the animal. Speak to your vet about prevention
  • if travelling with animals, try to travel in the early morning or evening

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