The Australian summer can be pretty stifling for the best of us, so it is vitally important to be prepared on how to avoid any distressing situations, whether we have two legs or four.
As humans, it is easy for us to be perched on the couch, with the air conditioner on full blast, and a huge collection of icy pole sticks quickly building up, but what about Fido?
In addition to their naturally thick coats, dogs don’t have the same regulating cooling systems we do, for example; sweating as a means of cooling down, and as such, dogs can become easily overheated, which in very severe cases can lead to death.
The best way to avoid heatstroke in your pooch is prevention. This includes creating an environment conducive to a pet’s lifestyle, as well as being aware of the signs and symptoms should your dog experience it.
How to Keep Your Furry Friend Cool
Having a pet is so much more than just cuddling and playing with them- you are completely responsible for their safety and wellbeing, particularly in the summer months.
The good news is that there are simple steps us humans can take in creating the right conditions for our best pals to relish on those hot sticky days.
- Make sure there is always enough fresh and cool drinking water available.
- Ensure they’re not spending too much time outside running around chasing Moggy, and have access to cooler shady areas if being outside for extended periods is necessary.
- Move their bed or laying blanket into a shade covered area that also has good air flow.
- Avoid having your pooch in humid and non-ventilated areas, in particular this importantly includes never leaving them in the car while you run into the shop.
Symptoms of heatstroke in animals:
The list below contains some very noticeable symptoms to keep a keen eye out for.
- Excessive panting
- Breathing difficulties
- Drooling & salivating
- Increased body temperature
- Glazed eyes
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Confusion and/or delirium
- In severe cases- collapsing & seizures
If you suspect heatstroke in your pet, immediately get them to a cool environment, wet their fur with water and take them to a vet immediately. Don’t forget that heatstroke is an emergency and should never be ignored.
Dog Breeds Most at Risk
Breeds that are most vulnerable to the elements of an Australian summer, in a general sense, are those with short noses, broad skulls and heads, and those with natural structural issues with their upper respiratory system.
Some of these breeds include:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Of course, as well as certain breeds naturally being more susceptible, there are other factors that can also increase chances of suffering, which include very old dogs or very young puppies, previously ill dogs and even pregnant mothers.
So keep a keen eye out, and make sure you are very aware of your pups natural behaviours so you can quickly identify any changes that may occur.
A Handy Hint:
Try dropping some smaller treats, like our meat balls or liver slices, into a container. Fill it with water and pop it in the freezer. Pull it out when frozen and you have a handy pooch friendly icy pole with flavours they love, to help keep them cool and keep them occupied and out of the sun!