Knowing the signs of heatstroke could potentially save a pet's life
As temperatures are set to soar over the weekend, an Irish-owned pet retailer offers these tips for pet owners to help care for their furry friends in the sun.
Dogs and cats can become dehydrated and overheat very quickly in hot weather, and are at risk of heatstroke which can be fatal if untreated.
Knowing the signs of heatstroke could potentially save a pet's life. Heatstroke can occur when an animal’s temperature rises to a dangerous level. If their temperature rises above 40°C they must see the local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Emily Miller of Petmania Ireland said, “We really want to encourage pet owners to stay vigilant in the hot weather and be aware of the signs of heatstroke. If there are any concerns don’t take a chance, call your vet immediately."
Check the following signs of heatstroke and report to a vet if present:
- A temperature of 40 to 43 degrees Celsius
- If the pet is staggering, having a seizure or in a stupor
- Excessive panting
- Dark or bright red tongue and/or gums
- Sticky or dry tongue and/or gums
- Bloody diarrhoea or vomiting
Tips to keep pets safe and well in the sunshine:
Ensure 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 for drinking, whether the pet is indoors or outdoors. Water should be fresh and refilled often.
Dog owners should 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 a pet in a hot car unattended. Not even with the windows down, in the shade or for short periods. 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.
Protect their skin with sunscreen on sensitive areas like ears and paw balm on their feet.
Invest in a paddling pool, pet cooling mat or other outdoor summer accessories.
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