BE VIGILANT: Dr Chris Gough with his border collie, Gus. Chris gives pet owners a few tips on keeping their puppy cool over summer. PHOTO: JOJO NEWBY
BE VIGILANT: Dr Chris Gough with his border collie, Gus. Chris gives pet owners a few tips on keeping their puppy cool over summer. PHOTO: JOJO NEWBY

Keep your dog cool and healthy these holidays

THE combination of warm weather and holiday travels are a potentially fatal mix for our furry friends.

Riverbank Animal Hospital's Dr Chris Gough said although cases were not overly common, dog owners needed to be particularly vigilant when travelling with their puppy.

"Dogs being left in cars tend to be the biggest thing," he said.

All pets are at risk of heat stress, but dogs with a short nose, overweight animals, and pets with furry coats or health problems are at greater risk.

Because dogs only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet and on their noses, they are prone to heat stress.

"They cool down by panting. Air is evaporated from their tongue and that's how they cool down," Dr Gough said.

He said dogs left in backyards during the heat of the day were also at risk.

"Some breeds will get overexcited and collapse in the backyard," he said.

"Be mindful of where your dog is sitting and whether the air-conditioning will reach it," he said.

Ice blocks placed under blankets can also help to keep your canine counterpart cool.

Dr Gough said veterinarians treated animals with heat stress by giving them cooled fluid intravenously.

He said pet owners should contact their local vet for advice if their pet was suffering from heat stress.

KEEPING YOUR PET COOL

  • Always have shade and water available.
  • Never leave your pet in a vehicle - even just for a few minutes.
  • Exercise your pet in the cool of the morning or evening.
  • Consider shaving your pet's coat to provide relief from heat.
  • Spray with cold water, cool with wet towels.
  • Electric fans or air conditioners also help.

SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE

  • Excessive panting and drooling.
  • Staggering and seizures.
  • Bright red gums.


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