It is vitally important to ensure that your pet is kept cool and hydrated during the summer months. Scotland is not notorious for hot summers, but in recent years we have seen a noticeable rise in temperatures. And while this has been great for us, our pets have been feeling the changes.
Pets are not as efficient at regulating their own body temperature as their owners are, and this makes them much more prone to heat stroke. Brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds such as Boxers, Pugs and French Bulldogs are at particular risk and owners need to keep a special eye on them on hot days.
Heat stroke is easily preventable. To avoid overheating we recommend that you:
- Walk your pet early in the morning and later in the evenings when the temperature is moderately cooler.
- Keep pets in cool shaded areas.
- Ensure that fresh cold water is available at all times.
If you have bunnies kept in hutches, please ensure that the hutch is kept out of direct sunlight and allow them time to run around the garden (with plenty of shade and water of course). Also, Flystrike is especially common during summer months so it is important to regularly check around their back end and tail region.
Please also remember to never leave a pet in a car or caravan on warm days, not even for short periods or with the windows left open. Vehicles tend to retain heat, which creates the right environment for heat stroke to develop rapidly.
There is an emerging market of cooling vests, mats and toys that are designed to regulate your pet’s temperature during the warmer months. Many pet owners find these useful and we have a small selection available for purchase in the practice.
If you have questions or you would like further advice about keeping your pet cool on warmer days, please don’t hesitate to phone and speak to a member of our team on 0141 339 1228.
The signs that your pet is overheating include:
- Heavy panting or rapid breathing.
- Excessive thirst.
- Glazed eyes.
- Bright or dark red tongue and gums.
- Staggering and stumbling.
- Increased pulse and heartbeat.
- Excessive drooling.
- Weakness and collapse.
If you suspect that your pet is overheating you should:
- Move them immediately to a cool shaded area.
- Place all four paws in cool water.
- Soak towels with cold (but not icy) water and place over your pet’s body and head, as well as under their arms and groin area. If using cool packs, please make sure they are covered with a towel.
- Fill a bowl with cool water and encourage drinking.
Please be aware that heat stroke can develop and become serious very quickly. If you are at all concerned, contact us immediately on 0141 339 1228 or bring your pet straight down to the practice.