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.