The Australian summertime is almost upon us! While some areas of Australiahave a relatively mild summer, others by comparison endure a few months ofextremely hot and humid conditions. It is important that pet owners take extracare during this time to ensure that family pets are staying nice and cool.

Just like humans, it is important to remember that your pet’s are also at riskof heatstroke, dehydration and stress during the summer months.

Keeping dogs cool

You will most likely notice that your dog’s activity levels will change whenit is too hot outside. They will be less likely to jump of the couch to greetyou, or slow to move on the lead if you take them for a walk.

Panting and drooling can be a sign of heatstroke, so it is important to takeit seriously and consider a few things to make them more comfortable duringthe summer season.

Change your walking times: Consider taking your pooch for a walk in theearly mornings and later evenings. As a general rule, if you can’t hold yourbare hand on the hard ground surface for longer than five seconds, then it istoo hot for your dog’s paws.

Give them a cool bath: There’s nothing like a nice dip in the summertimeto cool you down. You can give you pooch more regular, cool, baths duringsummer, or invest in a small shell-style pool from Bunnings so that they cansplash in the water and cool off during the day.

Provide lots of shade and water: This is one of the most important ones.If you are not home during the day, it is vital that your pet has adequateshade to rest in, and lots of water to drink. Be mindful that while you aregone, they could knock their water bowl over, so make sure they have more thanone supply.

Frozen treats: Freezing various dog-safe foods is a great way to keep themcool in summertime. You can even add ice to their paddle pool for some extrafun!

Grooming: Keep their coat well brushed and groomed. This will help keepthem cool by removing unwanted layers of dead coat, and you could considertrimming areas with a lot of hair such as around the face and under the belly.Have a chat to your local dog groomer and they will be able to help you decidethe best way to keep your dog cool during summertime.

A summer of cool cats

Like dogs, cats will feel the heat and start to slow down during thesummertime. If you see them gravitating towards your fans, windows, or doors,then they are feeling the heat!

Keep them inside: Even if they have an outdoor enclosure and are used tobeing outdoors, when the temperatures are soaring bring them inside where theycan be in the air conditioning or in front of a fan.

Plenty of water: Just like dogs, it is important to make sure that yourfurry feline has plenty of fresh water to drink around the house to last themthrough the day.

Frozen treats: Many cats also enjoy icy treats! You can even freeze someof their wet food into a small iceblock and pop it into their food bowl toenjoy.

Somewhere cool to lay: We all know how much cats love to nap! Make surethey have somewhere cool to lay, that is not the carpet or couch. They willmost likely want to stretch out on a tiled area to help them stay cool if theyare not in air conditioning.

Small creatures

All small creatures are sensitive to the heat. Pets such as rats, guinea pigsand birds will need to be placed somewhere cool, preferably indoors, when theheat is extreme. You can set up a fan to blow on their cage to keep them cool,bring them into an air-conditioned room, or place some ice in their cage toplay with and chew on.

This article was provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA). You canbecome a member by visiting the APCA website or [email protected].

Tagged: APCA

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