HEALTH AND WELLNESS
It's never too late to paws and breathe.
SUMMER is here and if you can feel the heat, so can your pets.
It may be bright and sunny outside, but summer has a dark side – excessive heat that can be harmful to pets. The main reason hot weather is a serious issue for dogs, cats, rabbits and other furry pets is because they are not able to cool off as efficiently and so they can easily suffer from dehydration, heat stroke, and sunburn.
Heat stroke, for example, can send an energetic dog to a comatose state if its temperature reaches over 40°C or higher or around 104-110°F. Heat stroke's symptoms include heavy panting, salivating, staggering, vomiting and diarrhea. Time is of the essence to bring the dog's temperature down before it reaches a clinic.
To beat the heat, follow these simple and practical ways to cool pets down:
TO KEEP BUNNIES COOL:
* Keep rabbits away from the sun, even when they are outdoors. See to it that there are shaded spots where they could run to.
* On a hot day, a rabbit should always have cold water to drink and a ceramic tile to lie on. Putting ice in their water bowl is a good idea, so is setting an electric fan to blow air into their cage.
* Occasionally wet or lightly spray the rabbit's ears with water because heat dissipates from their ears.
* Trim or remove excessive fur by brushing. Summer calls for short coat.
* Leave a sealed icy bottle of water or any frozen item inside the rabbit's cage as a cooling medium.
* Keep rabbits hydrated by providing not just water, but also fruits and vegetables.
* Bring them indoors, if possible, if the temperature outside becomes unbearably hot.
TO KEEP CATS COOL:
* Give cats access to fresh, cold or chilled water.
* Give them a bath.
* Make them “catsicles” or a big ice dome they could lick.
* Let them stay in cool places in and out of the house, especially during the hottest time of the day (from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
* Provide them with shady places outside where they could stay.
* Get them a cooling pad to lie on.
* Don't leave kitty inside the car.
* If kitty hates bathing, just wipe them down with cold, damp towel.
* Be kind to let them inside the house, especially when the air conditioner is on.
Are black cats and other animals covered in dark fur more likely to feel hotter? Some argue that they could because black attracts heat, but many cat owners also say they don't see much difference between their black and other light-colored cats' handling of excessive heat and humidity.
However, pale-colored cats are more susceptible to getting sunburned, particularly where fur is thin such as in their ears, noses and the sides of the foreheads. A cat's sunburned skin can become red, tough and flaky so it's recommended to protect and treat the areas mentioned with a non-toxic waterproof sunblock made for pets.
TO KEEP DOGS COOL:
* Give them cold water and cold treats such as an ice cube, a frozen treat or a pet-friendly popsicle.
* Let them swim or give them more baths
* Don't walk the dog on hot asphalt roads or concrete that can blister or burn their paws
* Use pet sunscreen for light colored dogs such as white pit bulls and great Danes as they easily get sunburned.
* Cut excessive long furry coats.
* Avoid involving your dog in strenuous activities in the heat. Dogs should walk in shady places only early morning or late afternoon.
* Don't use muzzle on dogs, especially on hot days. Dogs need to be able to pant to release body heat.
* Bring them inside the house when the weather is at its hottest.
* Don't take them on long road trips, and don't leave them inside the car even for just a few minutes.
* Give your dog a cooling pad. It help dogs feel relaxed even when the weather is hot.
* Veterinarians concerned about rising pet obesity cases