With summer right on our doorstep, there are going to be some hot days coming our way.  Make sure your garden is hot weather friendly for your pets.

Create cool shady spots
During the summer heat, your dog’s kennel outside will not be a sufficient place for your pet to be sheltered from the sun and heat.  Dog houses don’t allow for airflow.  This makes them dangerous, as your dog could suffer from heatstroke. Make sure you have a cool, shady spot for your pet to lie under that has good coverage from the sun and is well ventilated. Ventilation is critical because many animals lose heat by panting (evaporative cooling) which relies on good airflow.

Access to plenty of fresh drinking water
Make sure your pets have access not just to the swimming pool water. As you, know, we add a lot of chemicals to our swimming pools to keep them clean and clear. These chemicals are not good for your pets. That is why having access to fresh drinking water will prevent them from drinking from the pool. If you have many dogs, make sure you have many freshwater sources. If you own cats, make sure their water bowl is not by their food bowl; food and water should be kept in two different locations. Cats do not like eating and drinking right next to each other. Cat behaviourists believe this may be due to cats hunting away from their water source in the wild. Cats do not enjoy the scent of food while drinking water. They are also turned off by food particles in their water.

Avoid the midday heat
Don’t take your dog for a walk during the midday heat. Rather go during the early morning or late afternoon when the weather is cooler. Walking during the middle of the day can cause your pet to get heatstroke. Remember to check the surface you are walking your pet on.  Surfaces like tar, sand or concrete can get extremely hot
and can burn your pet’s paw pads. Also, pack water for your pet when you take them for a walk.

Play in water
Water activities are also a great way to keep your pets both active and cool. Many water-based activities that are safe for kids can work for our pets too, if they’re supervised. A run through the sprinklers, a splash in a collapsible kiddie pool, or play fetch using ice cubes. You can also use empty ice cream container and fill it with some treats and your pet’s favourite toys. Fill it up with water and then freeze it. It makes a great ice lolly for your pet.

Know the signs of heatstroke
Excessive panting
Excessive drooling
Difficulty breathing
Inco-ordination or stumbling
Sudden collapse
Bright red, purple, or blue gums

If you notice any of the above symptoms, get your dog into a cooler environment as soon as possible and then get them to your nearest Vet ASAP.

These tips are brought to you courtesy of the great team at Veterinary House Hospital  |  033-342 4698 (24h emergency).