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Tips for Owners of All Types of Pets

cat and dog
  • Always provide plenty of cool, clean water. Fill two bowls in case one is knocked over. If outside, ensure they are in the shade.
  • Ensure pets have access to cool, shady and well ventilated areas during all parts of the day.
  • It is best to leave pets at home during heat-waves, they will be much more comfortable in a cool home than riding in a hot car.
  • If pets must be taken along for the ride, don’t leave them alone in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows open, a parked car can quickly become a furnace, and pets can get heat stroke, brain damage or die in as little as 4-6 minutes. Never, under any circumstances, leave pets unattended in a car, even on a mild day when the car is in the shade and has the windows down.
  • If you and your pet must travel, carry an extra thermos, filled with fresh, cool water, just for them. Put the air conditioning on and if possible, use a window shield (the type used for babies and small children) on the rear windows.
  • Add ice blocks to your pet’s water bowl throughout the day.
  • Fill an empty container or drink bottle with water, freeze it, and place in your pet’s bed. Alternatively, place wet towels in the freezer for a few hours, remove and place in your pet’s bed.
  • Where possible, leaving the airconditioning or fans on in the house will help to keep pets cool.
  • If you know it is going to be a hot day and you will be at work, close the blinds in one or two rooms to keep the sun out. This will help the rooms to stay cooler.
  • Animals can get sunburned too! Protect hairless and light-coated dogs and white cats with sunscreen when your animal will be outside in the sun for an extended period of time. Put sunscreen or zinc on exposed areas of pink skin (e.g. ear tips and noses).
  • Animals with long coats can be clipped to increase comfort in hot weather.
  • Be aware of the signs of heat stroke in animals – this can be potentially fatal. Signs include rapid panting, lethargy, drooling, weakness, muscle tremors, or collapse.
  • Pets with signs of heat stroke should be put in a cool shady area, wetted down with cool (not icy) water and fanned. If the animal is conscious, offer cool (not cold) drinking water, but don’t allow it to gulp large amounts. Contact the nearest vet immediately, but don’t transport animals in a hot car.

Source: Agriculture.vic.gov.au

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