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Aussie Pets Need Help to Cool Down this Summer

11 December 2014
Australian Veterinary Association

AUSTRALIA - With temperatures set to soar across Australia this summer, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is reminding pet owners, that like elderly humans, many older pets need extra help to cool down.

AVA spokesperson, Dr Jacqui Ley said that older pets tend to find hot weather difficult to cope with.

“While younger animals can manage the heat by panting, drinking more and moving into the shade, older animals may have health conditions that make it harder for them to cope.

“Pets with heart or breathing problems should not be exercised on hot days and should be kept in air conditioning or with a fan.

“Pets with arthritis may find it painful to move out of the sun or to get up and down to drink. You can help them by having several clean water containers available in shady spots.

“Animals with conditions that make them drink and urinate a lot, such as diabetes and kidney disease, or are taking medication that makes them urinate more frequently need extra water available to them,” Dr Ley said.

Other things that will help keep pets comfortable on hot days include:

  • Creating a paddling pool and leave in a shady spot for your dog to sit in
  • Tossing a few ice cubes in your dog or cat’s water bowl can help to keep their temperature down and provide some relief on a hot day
  • Try to exercise your dog in the early morning or late evening and avoid the hottest part of the day
  • Consider putting some treats in the freezer. Pup popsicles can be made up of fruit and water and is a great way for your pooch to cool down.
  • If you own a long haired dog, consider giving them a trim to help them cope better with the hotter months.

“It’s important you take your pet to the local vet if they are displaying any symptoms of heat stroke such as heavy panting, fatigue, drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“The main thing is to watch your pets carefully on hot days and give them extra care to help them safely enjoy summer,” she said.

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