Avoiding Heat Exhaustion- top tips

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With days at the beach, ice cream in the sun and hot nights, summer is finally here. But with the warmer weather comes the risk of heat stress. 

Heat stress or heat exhaustion is a common condition seen in Australia. It is more common in dogs as they have very few sweat glands for heat loss and are generally more active than cats.

The important thing to remember is that heat stress can kill your pet. ALL pets are at risk but brachycephalic dogs with a short nose (such as pugs and bulldogs), overweight pets, pets with heart or respiratory problems or those with thick, furry coats are at greater risk.

How to avoid it?? These are the golden rules!

  • You should make sure shade and cool water is available ALL DAY. On the extremely hot days, leaving your pet outside may be too dangerous- consider moving them inside. If you are finding it unbearable, imagine how your pet feels in a fur coat!
  • Never leave your pet in the car as the temperature can reach dangerous levels in just a few minutes, even on a mild day. Parking in the shade or leaving the windows partially open is not enough.
  • Only ever exercise your pet in the cool of the morning or evening (or ski exercise if it is a really hot day). \ Some pets will need to have their heavy coat shaved to provide some relief from the heat. 

What to do if your pet is suffering from heat stress.....

Excessive panting and drooling, staggering and seizures are just some of the signs of heat stroke. You should seek veterinary attention immediately as heat stroke is an emergency. On your way to the vet spray your dog with cold (but not icy) water and cool them with wet towels, an electric fan or the air conditioner.

 


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