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During summer pet owners must take special precautions to ensure that their pets are adequately catered for when temperatures soar. All domestic pets should always have access to cool, shady areas. For dogs and cats this can be large, thick foliaged trees or wide verandahs.

All animals must have an adequate supply of cool, clean water. During the summer your pets will drink more water than in winter. If pets are alone during the day it is best to leave them with more than one container of water in case the container is knocked over.

If pets are locked in a house or shed during the day it is essential that the area is well
ventilated. A steel garden shed or garage can become a death trap on a hot day.

Never leave pets in a car as even in the shade temperatures within cars can cause death from heat exhaustion in a very short time. Leaving windows down does lot prevent the temperature from rising to dangerous levels and may allow the pet to escape onto a busy road or become lost.

Although many dogs look forward to their regular walk late in the afternoon they should lot be walked until the sun goes down during hot weather. Also be aware that concrete and footpaths may be hot enough to burn the dog's feet. Old animals, and the very young, are more susceptible to heat and should be provided with special care during hot weather.

In the case of other pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs or birds, the cage in which they are
housed must never be in direct sunlight. Be particularly careful with bird cages and aquariums that are near windows where the sun may stream in at certain times of the day, as even on a moderately sunny day the sun shining through the glass may be hot enough to be dangerous to the pet's well-being. Take care that a cage which is in the shade during the morning isn't exposed to the hot afternoon sun as the shade moves.

Outdoor aviaries can be covered with shade cloth to reduce the temperature and pots of leafy plants will also provide shade and shelter. Rabbits suffer from heat exhaustion very quickly.

Freezing a plastic bottle of water and placing it in the rabbits hutch will help keep it cool. If the rabbit is showing signs of distress, bathe its ears with cool (not ice) water. Rabbits are unable to sweat or pant, therefore temperatures over 25 degrees place them at serious risk of heat stroke.

Animals suffering from heat exhaustion will pant, lie on their side, be listless and disoriented. In severe cases they may become unconscious. If you think your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion it must be cooled promptly. Put the animal in a cool and shady area. Damp it down with tepid water (never ice) and fan the animal. If the animal is conscious, offer cool, not cold, drinking water. Do not allow the animal to gulp large amounts of water.

Contact your nearest veterinarian but do not transport the animal in a hot car. Only place it in a vehicle which has air conditioning or is cool and airy. Keep the animal damp with cool air playing over its body during the car trip.

If you and your pet are lucky to have airconditioning, keep in mind that birds should never be placed near vents as they are unable to move away from the cold air and can become ill after prolonged exposure.

With a little preparation and consideration for your pet's wellbeing summer will be an enjoyable time for you and your pet.

Further Information
  Aqua Wata Automatic Pet Waterer

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 05/10/08 08:44 Views: 9018

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