Heat wave conditions. That’s a term residents of South-East Queensland have become all too familiar with. And if you’ve been finding it difficult keeping your cool these past few weeks, spare a thought for your furry mates.
Dogs can’t sweat (and many have a heavy coat not designed for sub-tropical temperatures). This means they are more susceptible to heat stress than their human owners. Some breeds suffer more than others. Because they just go and go, staffies can get themselves into trouble and overheat. Snub-nosed breeds such as pugs also suffer in these conditions as they can develop breathing problems from overheating. So keep an extra eye on these types of pets.
There are many things you can do to make your pet more comfortable (and much safer) on these stinky hot days. Here are a few ideas:
- If your pet sleeps on the ground, get him a trampoline bed. The elevation allows for better air flow and will make for a more confortable sleep.
- Think about getting your dog his own fan. A sturdy pedestal fan (that can’t be easily knocked over) will do. Even better, get one that you can sit on a shelf or attach to the wall, which you can angle over his bed.
- Grab him a shallow kids pool (one that he can easily get into and out of) so he can sit or lie in the water.
- Make sure he has several water bowls (heavy stainless steel ones that can’t be knocked over are best) in well-shaded spots. And change the water every morning and night.
- If your dog is used to exercise, do so early in the morning or late afternoon (before 7am and after 5pm are the best times).
- Freeze chicken stock or water in ice-cream containers, then tip them into a bowl for a refreshing snack that will last for hours.
- If you get a breeze, try to hang wet towels near your dog’s bed – these will act as natural evaporative coolers and are very effective in lowering the temperature.