How To Keep Pets Cool During A Heatwave
Malta has been hit by a bout of hot weather recently, making it uncomfortable not only for us, but also for our pets. We can keep ourselves cool during these fierce temperatures, however, our four-legged friends cannot voice their complaints. Older pets or those who suffer from certain conditions may need our help to cope with extreme temperatures.
Here's what you can do to alleviate the discomfort for your pets.
1. Keep your pet indoors
Dogs can only sweat through their paws, and the only way they can cool themselves is by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause severe heat stress to your pet, and may even be fatal for their health. It is best to keep your pet indoors, especially during the afternoon.
2. Avoid afternoon walks
In very hot and humid conditions, your pet might be better off if taken for evening or early morning walks, remember that your dog cannot wear shoes, making it extremely easy for their paws to burn on hot pavements. This can lead to severe overheating – which might lead to a medical emergency.
3. Never leave your pet alone inside a car
Leaving your pet alone in a car is always a no-no, your dog will be much safer at home than inside a car. Remember that your car can get up to 20 degrees warmer when closed up, making it extremely uncomfortable for your pet if left in it.
4. Know the signs of overheating
Dogs, rabbits, birds and cats can show signs of overheating. If they seem to have trouble swallowing or they are breathing heavily, it means that the heat is making them uncomfortable. This could lead to heatstroke, and you will need to contact a veterinarian immediately.
5. How to make it better
Provide your pet with ample cold water and shade. If need be, apply cold, wet towels to their back and neck. You can also provide cold, wet towels for your pet to lay on, or even wrap cold packs in a towel for them to sleep on. If you have an air conditioner at home, turn it on for your pet during the hottest hours of the day.
Would you like to learn more about pets? Here's our article on the top 10 low maintenance pets for children or adults