Whitehorse City Council

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Cool pets are happy pets this summer

27 Dec 2017

Shaded areas and lots of easy-to-access water are key to keeping pets cool and calm on sweltering summer days.

Whitehorse Councillor Raylene Carr said keeping pets comfortable in hot weather should be a priority for all responsible pet owners.

“It’s easy to keep pets healthy and safe when the temperature rises by remembering a few simple tips. One of the main ones is to bring pets indoors on hot days if possible,” Cr Carr said.

Other guidelines include:

  • Leave multiple bowls of water where your pet can get to them in case one is knocked over.
  • Pets with pink noses, little fur on their ears and white skin under their fur are susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer, so apply a special animal sunscreen to exposed areas.
  • Put a toddler pool in the shade and fill it with water for your dog to sit in.
  • Walk your dog in the coolness of the early morning or evening.
  • Dogs, cats, ferrets, poultry and caged birds control their inner temperature through their feet. Try wetting the feet of distressed animals and misting water onto their face. Don’t saturate a bird’s feathers, though, as this can send them into shock.

“Spare a thought for small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and birds. Because of their size, they are particularly susceptible to the heat so bring these animals indoors during hot weather,” Cr Carr said.

“Don’t leave your pets unattended in cars during hot weather as the temperature in a car can be more than 30 degrees higher than the outside temperature, and cars reach life-threatening temperatures within minutes.”

Warning signs of heat stress in animals include excessive panting and drooling, vomiting, collapse, shaking, distress and feeling hot to touch. If you have a pet that shows signs of heat stress, immediately contact your local or emergency vet and try to cool the animal down as quickly as possible.

For more details and tips for caring for pets in summer, phone Community Laws on 9262 6333, visit www.whitehorse.vic.gov.au/Animals.html or the RSPCA’s website at www.rspcavic.org

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