Pets will be feeling the heat this week.
With temperatures set to hit 30C across Ireland this week it won't be just people who are feeling the heat.
Pets are particularly susceptible to hot weather and the reality is, extreme temperatures can not only make your pet very ill, they can easily die from its impact.
Here is some advice from the ISPCA to help you car for your four-legged friends this week:
Signs your pet is overheating
Pets can become dehydrated and overheat quickly, so know the signs of overheating.
- excessive panting
- increased heart rate
- dry or pale gums
- weakness or collapse.
To avoid overheating, try not to overexert your pet on walks, and make sure they always have access to fresh water and a shady spot to sit in.
Don't walk your dog at the hottest part of the day
As wonderful as idea of going out for a walk in the sunshine may be, taking your dog for a walk during the hottest part of the day can cause serious injury and even deaths. Footpaths and roads can be particularly hot and dogs don't have the benefit of shoes to protect their paws from serious burn injuries. Dogs can easily overheat and taking your dog for a walk can increase their risk of heatstroke. Walk your dog either very early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures have fallen. Bring water for the dog if you are walking more than half an hour so your pet can have a drink.
Never leave your dogs in the car
Pet owners often think leaving a window open is sufficient for their pet but this is not enough to prevent heatstroke under intense sunshine which can have fatal consequences. We all love the sunshine but it is important to be aware of the dangers that can be caused by leaving a dog unattended in a vehicle during hot weather, even for 10 minutes can prove to be fatal.
What to do if you pet is overheating
If your pet is showing signs of severe overheating, move your pet to a cooler area immediately, spray with cool (not cold) water, and give a small drink of water and contact your vet straight away.
Please also be mindful of common chemicals that may be in your home this summer, as these can be toxic to pets. Suncream and insect repellent are particularly toxic to pets and should be stored out of reach.
The summer also brings a whole host of fun and fabulous events for us, but some of these can be noisy and disruptive for your pets. Please bear in mind some tips on how to manage your pets' stress in the event that there are fireworks or loud events in your area.
Noise and commotion can be very distressing to some pets, and may drive them to unusual or extreme behaviour.
The ISPCA recommend strongly that you have your pets microchipped as a permanent form of identification, and ensure that your details are always up to date. You should also have an ID tag, and together these forms of identification make it much more likely you will be reunited with your beloved pet in the event they escape. You can leave a TV or radio on to drown out some of the noise of fireworks or events.
Pets should have somewhere to hide where they feel secure if frightened by loud noise, so a quiet room in the house will help with closed curtains and music or TV noise playing. Licking objects, life a toy filled with peanut butter can help reduce stress, as can playing with your pet if they are up for a game. If not, do not try to force them to play. If you pet is truly terrified of loud noise and you are concerned about them, you may want to consult with your vet in advance, and ask them about training or medication to help with your pets’ stress.