Protecting Your Pet in the Hot WeatherSarah O'Dwyer
As the sunshine makes a comeback across Ireland and the temperatures begin to rise once again, pet owners across the country are making their way outside to enjoy the good weather with their furry friends. Like their humans, most pets enjoy the warm weather, but it is important to stay vigilant and aware of any signs of distress or discomfort. Dogs and cats can become dehydrated and overheat very quickly in hot weather, and are at risk of heatstroke. Luckily with the right precautions, you can keep your pet safe in the summer heat.
Signs of Heatstroke in Pets
Knowing the signs of heatstroke could potentially save your pets life. Heatstroke can occur when an animal’s temperature rises to a dangerous level. Typical body temperatures for dogs and cats range from 38.3 to 39.2°C. A rabbit’s average body temperature is 38.3-39.4C. If their temperature rises above 40°C, take them to your local veterinarian.
The effect of heatstroke on household pets can be detrimental to their health causing organ disfunction, respiratory distress and neurological damage. If left untreated can be fatal for animals.
Call your vet immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
- Dark red to purple-coloured tongue/gums
- If the pet is staggering, having a seizure or in a stupor
- Sluggish or unresponsive
Move a pet suffering from heatstroke out of the heat straight away. Cool your pet’s ears, belly and paw pads with cool (not freezing or icy) water. Don’t ever put your pet in cold water or cover them with a cold, wet blanket.
Once the pet has stabilised, take them to the veterinarian as soon as you can.
Tips for Staying Safe in Hot Weather
- Ensure your pets have access to the shade at all times when they are outside, such as under a table or a tree.
- Make sure cool water is available at all times, whether your pet is indoors or outdoors. Water should be fresh and refilled often.
- If you are a dog owner, avoid walking them in the afternoon when temperatures are at the highest, and instead opt for a morning or evening walk. Senior dogs, dogs that are overweight, dogs that have thick fur, or dogs with a pushed-in nose (such as boxers, pugs and Pekingese) are even more at risk of overheating.
- Check the ground before taking dogs out for walks or letting cats outside on hot days, as asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws. Walk on grass wherever possible.
- Don’t ever leave your pet in a hot car unattended. Not even with the windows halfway down, not even in the shade, not even for just five minutes. Our pets can’t sweat like humans, so they pant to lower their body temperature. If they’re inside a car, recycling very hot air, panting doesn’t help, and heatstroke can occur very quickly.
Our Top Products To Help Your Pet in the Summer Heat
HOWND Hemp by Hownd Skin, Nose and Paw Balm with Sun Protection 50g protects, soothes and moisturises all year round. The balms can be used in the summer months to protect the snout and outer ear areas from UVA and UVB rays, as well as any exposed skin.
IMAC Cooling Mat is a pressure-activated cooling pet mat that is perfect for keeping your pet cool and comfortable during the summer months. These cooling mats work without water, electricity or refrigeration.
M-PETS Hexagonal Water Dispenser 3.5L slowly dispenses water to prolong time between refills – perfect for busy pet parents!
The perfect toy for your dog to enjoy on a warm day, this dog pool is easy to set up and pack away. Ideal for keeping your four legged friend cool during the summer.
The perfect treat on a warm day, this deliciously healthy frozen yogurt packs a nutritious punch, whilst keeping your pup lip-lickingly satisfied! Available in-store only.