Hot doggies: Pets and heatstroke

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By Samantha Bulloch:

 Every year there are numerous reports of dogs suffering from heat stress, although the solution is simple.

As the warmer weather approaches it is important to be mindful of ways to prevent any harm coming to your beloved pets. Julie Bowles from Kellyville’s Sydney Animal Hospital and Dale Chapman from the RSPCA Care Centre at Rouse Hill share their tips on animal safety.

Julie says “the best thing for dogs that are outside is shade and fresh water, otherwise they could develop heat stress.”

Dale says “if you are unable to bring your dog inside then buy a small paddling pool for them to cool off in. Just put some of their toys in there to encourage them to go in. Another idea is to freeze their treats in water to become something like an ice block. That way they’ll cool off from licking the ice.”

Another major problem is leaving dogs unattended in hot cars, and Julie recommends avoiding it completely.

“Don’t ever leave them in the car, simple as that. If it’s over 40 degrees that day, then leave them in the house where it’s much cooler,” Julie says.

It is also important to check the pavement before taking your dog for a walk.

Dale advises to check the pavement with your hand first.

“If it burns you then it is certainly not suitable for your dog. When you do walk them during summer try to make the walks shorter and walk on grass where possible.”

Heat stress is very real and very serious, and sadly numerous dogs will suffer from it every year. Julie outlines some warning signs to watch out for.

“If they are suffering from heat stress they’ll pant and develop a high temperature. It is important to move them to a cooler area and slowly place wet towels on them to cool them down. If that doesn’t seem to work that’s when it becomes a veterinary emergency and you should seek treatment immediately.”

 

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