Get your pets safely through sum­mer


KEEP­ING your pets chilled out in the warmer weather is eas­ier with th­ese tips from the RSPCA.

All pets must be kept in cool, shady ar­eas. It is ideal to bring pets in­doors on hot days.

Small pets, such as rab­bits, guinea pigs and birds, are par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble to heat. Bring th­ese an­i­mals in­doors dur­ing hot weather.

If al­lowed free run in a laun­dry or bath­room, they will ben­e­fit from the cool tiles. If this is not pos­si­ble, drape their cage with wet tow­els and pro­vide a sturdy icepack or frozen water bot­tle for the an­i­mal to lean against so it can reg­u­late its own body tem­per­a­ture. Make sure en­clo­sures are out of di­rect sun­light and pro­tected from the sun as the shade moves through­out the day.

Pro­vide plenty of fresh, cool water in large con­tain­ers. Be sure to pro­vide nu­mer­ous sources of water in case one is spilt. En­sure the con­tain­ers are in the shade and add some ice to the water to keep it cool.

Place a clam-shell pool in the shade and fill it with water so your dog can wade in the water to keep cool. If your pets share your yard with chil­dren, have all nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions in place, in­clud­ing fenc­ing, in or­der to keep chil­dren safe.

Walk your dog in the cool­ness of the early morn­ing or evening, es­pe­cially on very hot days. You may even take your pet to the lo­cal beach, creek or river to let it have a pad­dle to cool down. This will help your pet avoid de­hy­dra­tion, sun­burn and painful paws and it will help you and your pet en­joy the walk more.

If your pet seems to be in dis­com­fort, try wet­ting its feet and mist­ing water onto its face. This is an op­tion for dogs, cats, fer­rets, poul­try and caged birds as many an­i­mals con­trol their in­ner tem­per­a­ture through their feet. It’s im­por­tant not to sat­u­rate a bird’s feath­ers as this can cause them to go into shock.

■ Horses and live­stock: Make sure your horses and live­stock have ac­cess to shade. Pro­vide ex­tra water for them.

■ An­i­mals in hot cars: Never leave your pet in the car in warm weather. It takes only min­utes for an an­i­mal to suf­fer an ag­o­nis­ing death if left in a hot car. If you see an an­i­mal locked in a hot car, im­me­di­ately phone po­lice on 000. ■ Wildlife: Leave small bowls of water in your gar­den so wildlife can keep cool.

■ Emer­gency plan­ning: With hot weather comes the in­creased risk of fires. Be pre­pared and plan early to en­sure you will be able to safely evac­u­ate your pets in the event of an emer­gency.


DIVE IN: There are many ways to keep your pet cool and happy dur­ing the warmer months.

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