RSPCA NSW is urging all pet owners to keep their pets cool, hydrated, and safethis summer.

As temperatures across the state begin to rise above 40 degrees Celsius, it iscrucial pet owners make precautions for their pets to avoid potential heatstress, and fatalities, this summer.

Your pets cannot always cool themselves down, so as a responsible pet owner,it is your job to keep them coolduring the hot summer months.

If possible, bring your pets indoors where there is shade, and possibly air-conditioning, to provide a cool environment to chill in. Do not under anycircumstances leave pets unattended in locked cars, even if you are parked inshade or have the windows down.

If pets are to be outdoors during the heatwave, it is important to provideaccess to shaded areas to protect your pets from the sun. This can be done byInstalling shade cloths and umbrellas in your backyard or by planting tallnative flora in the garden.

Remember to apply pet-friendly zinc to the ears and noses of pets prone tosunburn, including cats and dogs with white fur and pink noses.

It is essential to ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water, whichincludes providing multiple sources for them to drink from in cool places outof the sun. Consider also providing bird baths for our domesticated and wildfeathered friends to frolic and cool off in.

Place ice in your pet’s bowls to help cool their water sources but check thatyour pet is comfortable with the change in water temperature. Freezing somepet food can also make a delicious ice block that will cool and entertain yourpet as it defrosts.

Pocket pets, including rabbits and guinea pigs, are not immune from the heatand can benefit from ice bricks wrapped in towels and cooling mats placed intheir hutches.

Avoid exercising dogs in the middle of the day as this can lead to heatstress. Their feet pads can burn on hot surfaces such as cement and sand. Payattention to flat-faced breeds (brachycephalic) such as Pugs and Bulldogs asthey have a greater difficulty regulating heat.

For handy tips on identifying and treating heatstroke that you can refer toon-the-go, download or print our RSPCA NSW Heatstroke Information sheet.

If you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, please contact yourclosest RSPCA veterinary hospital or your local veterinarian immediately.

Image: Sansa the white German Shepherd adopted from RSPCA NSW keeping coolunder an umbrella, in a shallow pool, and pet-friendly zinc to protect herfrom sunburn.

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