RSPCA centre manager Paul Hagen gives you tips on how to keep your pet safe and cool.
RSPCA centre manager Paul Hagen gives you tips on how to keep your pet safe and cool. Allan Reinikka

Over-heated animals get critical, fast

DURING the stifling hot Rockhampton summers most of us seek refuge in air-conditioning or at the pool, but what about our furry friends?

While people are busy at work pets are often left alone in the heat, so it's important to make sure their going to be healthy when you get home.

Rockhampton RSPCA Adoption Centre Manager Paul Hagen said preparation is key when it comes to keeping your pet cool in the summer months.

"Providing plenty of water, absolutely that is one of the most critical things is to have heaps of fresh water as the dogs and cats will dehydrate pretty quickly,” Paul said.

"Definitely no keeping dogs and cats in locked cars or locked areas.

"Ice into the water and iced treats as food can help cool down your furry feline or furry canine.

"You want to also make sure there's heaps of shade and shelter and just keep them out of the mid-day sun.

"Just be responsible.”

It's important to know the signs your pet shows when they're dehydrated because there's not much time to act before the situation gets critical.

"Normally there will be increased panting, salivation,” Paul said.

"The trouble is when they're over heated and getting dehydrated there's not much time frame between them showing signs and death, so it's important you get onto it very quickly.

"Heaps of wet towels, pour water on them and just try and get their temperature down and call your vet as soon as possible.”

Paul said small pets need extra care during the hot months too to make sure they keep their temperature down and get enough water.

"If you have a bird bath, birds love to have a swim around and get their feathers wet,” Paul said.

"With guinea pigs and rats, you can put ice in the water they drink.

"You can also wet their pellet food to make sure when they're eating they get some extra water.”

Summer time is also storm season which can bring stress and anxiety for pets, but a bit of forethought can help your pet feel safe and secure.

"We'd like to see all cats inside anyway,” Paul said.

"Especially with dogs if there's a storm predicted and you know you're going to be at work, you might want to duck off at lunch time and put them inside especially if you know they suffer anxiety.

"If it looks like a big storm coming put your cat and dog inside.”



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