In Australia, we’re famous for our hot summers, with high temperatures and beautiful sunny days. But at their peak, these summer temperatures can hit 40 degrees on the West Coast – this can be just as challenging for our furry friends as it is for us.
When it comes to summer dangers for our pets, it can sometimes be difficult to determine fact from fiction. Luckily, we’ve put together 5 important summer pet safety tips that you should take on board this summer.
- Beat the Heat
Did you know that animals have a limited ability to deal with the heat? If you think it’s a hot day, it’ll be even warmer for your cat or dog, with their hot fur coats.
In addition to this, our pets can only release heat by panting, as well as through their paw pads. This is different from how we process heat, sweating it out through the skin on our body.
Pets with flat faces – such as pug dogs and Persian cats – cannot pant as effectively as other breeds, making them more susceptible to heat stroke. Cats and dogs that are overweight or aged also need to be monitored more carefully during summer.
- Keep Your Pet Hydrated
Dehydration can be very dangerous for pets during the hot weather. Dogs and cats need water just as much as people do.
Make sure your pets always have access to plenty of fresh water and know where to find their water bowls around the house and property. Fresh, cold water helps keep pets hydrated during summer and adding ice cubes to their bowls can be a special treat.
You might want to avoid letting pets run around outside during the hottest parts of the day – keep them inside or at least in the shade where you know they won’t become dehydrated.
3. Never Leave Your Pet inside a Hot Car
Even with the windows down and air conditioning on, pets can overheat in cars in as little as 6 minutes, especially during Perth’s scorching summer months. Overheating can prove fatal for cats and dogs, with animals dying from heatstroke.
It’s best to leave your beloved best mate safely at home indoors, rather than putting them at risk of heatstroke in a hot car. Just think how excited they’ll be to greet you when you get home.
- Protect Against Sun Burn and UV
Pets with short fine hair and pink skin can be susceptible to sunburn. In this case, you might need to apply sunscreen to your pet during the summer months, to protect them from the potential damage of UV rays and sun burn.
Make sure you only ever use sunscreens that are designed specifically for use on animals. Talk to your veterinarian about which types of sunscreen are safest on your pet’s skin.
- Summer Pests
As well as the potential dangers of the heat and sun, the Australian summer can also see the rise of fleas, ticks and other insects. These parasites and pests can be very dangerous and even fatal for pets.
Keep the grass in your yard cut short to reduce the presence of ticks and other insects in your garden and be careful about the fertilisers and pesticides you use.
Professional 24-Hour Vet Care
For more useful information about caring for your pet, visit Vet24’s Pet Blog. For general pet care and emergency services, visit our animal hospital in Perth.
A professional veterinarian can also provide you with advice on grooming, bathing and looking after your pet to reduce dog or cat allergies. For Perth pet owners, talk to the team at Vet24 for expert guidance on all aspects of pet care. Contact our Balcatta office at any time on (08) 9345 4644.