Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) shelter vets are urging pet owners to be extra vigilant following the early start to summer.
“Your dog and cat need access to clean, cool water and lots of it,” AWLQ Vet Doctor Theresia Andersen said.
“If you have overweight, older pets, long haired animals better suited to cooler climes, or dogs such as Bulldogs and Boxers which may have difficulty breathing, air conditioning is really important to help regulate their temperatures.”
Never leave your dog in the car. Just minutes in a hot car, even with the windows down, is enough to do fatal damage to a dog in summer.
“If a dog is heat affected try to give it cool water and move it to an air-conditioned room.”
“If that doesn’t work and your dog remains distressed, it’s vital that you get it to a vet as soon as possible,” Doctor Andersen said.
Your vet will work to reduce its temperature and try to prevent its organs from shutting down. This can include the use of intravenous fluids, oxygen, medication and overnight care as the potential damage to your pet is assessed.
• Running, cycling or other strenuous activity with your dog during the hottest parts of the day
• Never leave your pets in the car
• avoid prolonged use of Thundershirts during hot periods as they can trap heat causing your pet to overheat
• Make sure your dogs and cats have access to shade and plenty of cool, clean water
• provide water pools for your dog to wade in
• ensure artic breeds and those with issues breathing normally have air-conditioning
The Animal Welfare League Queensland shelter vet team has also developed its own recipe to keep dogs cool, called ‘Pupsicles’.
“Vet Nurse Grace Nielsen has been honing this recipe for some time,” Doctor Andersen said.
AWLQ Pupsicle recipe
1/3 cup dry dog food
couple of dog treats (biscuit treats)
1 tbsp. wet food
fold in above ingredients and add water to a ‘mush’ consistency
place in plastic bowl to half way and freeze
once hard top up with water and refreeze
remove frozen Pupsicle from plastic container into safe dog bowl
Your Pupsicle is ready!