5 Ways To Keep Your Pets Cool in Hot Weather
Keeping your pets cool and hydrated can be quite a challenge, especially with the hot and usually fickle weather in Malaysia. Heat waves and hot days without proper cooling or hydration can easily cause your pet to overheat and become dehydrated. Keeping your pets cool is especially important during hot days in Malaysia to prevent heat stroke, which can be life-threatening and difficult to treat.
Below are five ways on how to keep your pet cool in hot weather:
1. Provide plenty of shade and water
When your pet is outside, protect them from the heat and sun and make sure they have access to plenty of fresh, clean water. To combat heat waves, add ice to the water if possible.
2. Avoid walks on hot surfaces
Asphalt can get very hot and burn your pet’s paws, so take your pet for a walk on the grass as much as possible. You can test the heat of any surface by placing your palm on it for at least 5 seconds. If you feel it’s too hot for you, then it’s definitely too hot for your pet’s feet.
3. Never leave your pet alone in your vehicle
Never leave your pet unattended in the car. Even if you have rolled down the windows a few inches or parked in a shady spot, the temperature inside your car will rise to dangerously high levels within minutes on a hot day. Your pet could suffocate and even die from irreversible organ damage due to the extreme heat. It is better to leave your pet safely at home with someone to look after it while you run errands outside.
4. DIY frozen pet treats
You can make some pet-friendly frozen treats for your pet to enjoy on hot days. All you need are basic ingredients such as bone broth or meat broth and bits of pet treats to make a savoury popsicle. These frozen treats might get messy when they melt, so make sure to feed them to your pet in an area that is easy to clean.
5. Keep your pet’s paws cool
Run cool water over the pads of your pet’s feet to prevent overheating. Most people are not aware that dogs and cats sweat. Because dogs and cats have so much fur, they don’t sweat profusely and visibly as humans do. Dogs and cats sweat mainly through their feet, the sweat glands are located on the paw pads and between the toes. You may have noticed that a dog or cat leaves wet footprints when they walk across a smooth, dry surface. That’s the sweat coming out of their paws.
Look out for signs of heatstroke
Heat stroke can occur when temperatures reach dangerously high levels. Heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, breathing problems, extreme thirst, lethargy, fever, disorientation, lack of coordination, heavy salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizures and unconsciousness are all symptoms of heat stroke.
Particularly vulnerable to heat stroke are dogs or cats that are very old, very young, overweight, not used to prolonged exercise, or suffering from heart or respiratory disease. Some dog breeds, such as Boxers, Pugs, Shih Tzus and other dogs and cats with short muzzles, have difficulty breathing in high temperatures.
What to do if your pet suffers from heatstroke
- Move your pet to a shady spot or an air-conditioned place.
- Place ice packs or cold towels on your pet’s head, neck and chest.
- Let your pet lick ice cubes or drink small amounts of cool water.
- Take your pet to a vet immediately. Heat stroke can cause life-threatening damage to your pet’s internal organs if it is not treated.
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