With the extreme temperatures and heat we have been experiencing recently, It had me thinking about the effects it has on our pets. Both myself and the Animal Rescue Organisation is appealing to pet owners to ensure your animals have access to plenty of fresh, clean water and shelter that provides shade.
When chatting to our Senior Veterinarian, Dr Susan Van Niekerk, she advised the following “Ensure your animals have a constant supply of water, especially as dogs do not have sweat glands and can only cool down by panting.” “Check your pets water bowls frequently and ensure the water is clean and fresh, and the bowl is placed in a shaded area.”
Dr Susan Van Niekerk also warned dog owners not to exercise their animals in the heat of the day. Should you wish to exercise your animals either take them early in the morning or late afternoon / early evening. “Keep an eye on your animals – if your dog pants excessively; becomes very lethargic or collapses – it could be suffering from heatstroke. Wet your animals and allow them to lay in a cool spot, dogs with flat noses, e.g. bull dogs, require extra care during the heat.
Should you go out during the day, do not leave your animals confined to a room that has full exposure to the sun, either leave them indoors with full access of the house or alternatively place them outside but ensure they have a shaded area to lie in. Dr Susan Van Niekerk has cautioned that corrugated metal will conduct the heat and become extremely hot and are therefore not suitable as shelters.
”Rabbits and other small pets kept outside in hutches should also always be kept in the shade”, said Dr Susan Van Niekerk. All caged animals – even if they are indoors – should not be left in direct sunlight.
There are a lot more flies during the summer, picking up your pets feaces daily is important – as they attract flies and cause larva eggs to be laid – this can result in worms and the spread of parasitic diseases which are transferable to humans.
The Animal Rescue Organisation is pleading with the public not to leave animals in cars. On hot days cars heat up extremely quickly and become like ovens and a pet could easily succumb to the effects of heat exposure, or even worse may die.
If you come across an animal left in a car, try to locate the owner either through management at a shopping centre, or alternatively contact the nearest police station or animal organisation.
For those of you living overseas, check out my blog on Winter Warming Tips.
I look forward to hearing from you all, feel free to post photos of you and your pets enjoying the holiday season!
Until next time,