Pets feeling the heat

While Yass Valley’s residents switch on fans and air conditioners to beat the heat, their pets are also hoping to avoid the rising temperatures.

Yass veterinarian Rachael O’Leary said cats and dogs often struggle in summer and owners should look out for signs of heat stress.

“They get really deep red gums, they can vomit, they get diarrhoea, and often they will just have collapsed,” Dr O’Leary said.

She said if your pet has reached that stage, like any human being, they should get treatment.

“Your best bet is to get them into the vets where we can get them IV fluids and try to cool them down.”

The vet said short-nosed dogs like Pugs were much more prone to heat stress because they already find it difficult to breathe, and panting makes that worse.

She said access to water was the most important thing.

“Dogs that are in outside runs need to have adequate shade and at least two water bowls,” she said.

The vet said it wasn’t just when the pets are at home, it’s easy to forget how hot it can get when out and about.

Just like it’s dangerous to leave a baby in a car, it’s unsafe to keep your pet in the car.

“It is much hotter in the car than out… having a window down is not enough.”

Tips to keep your pet cool

The RSPCA NSW have several tips to help cool down pets this summer.

* Extra bowls of water.

* Takeaway containers filled with beef/chicken stock, frozen overnight and given to outdoor animals.

* Ice cubes in water bowls. Be careful, some animals will avoid drinking the water if they are concerned about the floating ice cubes. A good alternative is to freeze half a water bowl the night before and top the remainder up with cool water when putting out.

* Extra shade areas in your backyard using shade cloths and shade umbrellas.

* Paddling pools (clams are especially popular) filled with water and under your supervision.

* Spray pet birds with a mist pump spray bottle or install a bird bath for supervised use.

* Cool a ceramic tile or oven pan in the fridge/freezer and put out for small dogs and cats to lie on.

* For pocket pets, little bags of ice wrapped in small, wet towels provides heat relief.

* Allow your outdoor animals to come inside the house and share the air conditioning or electric fan.

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