How to protect pets from heat

back dam. Summer, sun, heat wave: high temperatures affect not only people and plants. Pets also suffer from heat waves. But what can you do to make hot days easier on your animal companions? It is a question that will often be asked in the face of climate change.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Cats love cool tiles

“Basically, pet owners should help their animals avoid direct exposure to heat,” says Elizabeth Zemfer, head of a veterinary clinic in Potsdam. Owners should expose their animals to as shaded and cool places as possible. For example, dogs can do well in a well-ventilated, shaded place in the garden, cats like cool tiles, and rabbits and guinea pigs with their cage can be placed in a cooler basement – but of course there should be light too. If there is no basement or garden, then the apartment should at least be well ventilated.

Read also

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Small animals are more sensitive

In general, smaller mammals are more sensitive to heat than larger dogs and cats, Zimpfer says. “Young animals have a completely different metabolism and have to breathe a lot,” says the vet. They are exposed not only to overheating, but also to hypothermia.

In the summer heat, it is very important for them to provide them with shade. In the open air, places with wet sand and damp earth also help these animals to cool off. But you also need to be careful with dogs and cats that are older or sick, as well as with very young animals. They also need special protection from heat.

Parakeets love warmth – and humidity

It’s a little different with macaws and macaws. Due to its origin, it is accustomed to high temperatures. On the other hand, they need high humidity to breathe. “Having a room humidifier and a cold inhaler would be a solution here,” says vet Zimpfer. Parrot owners should always have a hydrometer in the cage to check if the air is moist enough for the animal.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

As with humans, water is also important for animals in the heat. Dogs should be provided with enough fresh water at all times, so they help themselves. A dog water bottle should always be with you when you are outside.

Melon and cucumber in the bowl

Violent cats sometimes need a helping hand: “You can offer them water features like small drinking fountains, or give them treats in a shallow bowl of water,” Zimpfer suggests. You can mix a lot of water with both dog and cat food. Young rodents can be fed melon or cucumber. The diet itself contains a lot of water. In principle, all animals can be fed wet or at least wet food on hot days so that they absorb additional fluids.

The vet notes that pet owners make some mistakes. Bad, but unfortunately the reality is the dog being left in the hot car. Even spending a short time in a sunlit car can be fatal to an animal. Last year Zimpfer had two animals with corresponding heat shock in practice. However, most owners know that a dog or cat does not belong in a hot car even for a short time.

Dogs mow in heat?

Goodwill is not always good for loved ones: owners of long-haired dog breeds sometimes want to do something good for their loved ones on hot days and shave their fur without further ado. Unfortunately, this is wrong and even harms breeds such as the Labrador, Golden Retriever, Collie, Australian Shepherd and Bobtail. “Fur also serves as both sun protection and air cushion for such breeds,” Zimpfer explains. Basically, you are exposing them to the sun by cutting them. On the other hand, it is correct to comb the downcoat of the company.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

Shearing often has the side effect of being easily scratched by a dog’s skin and can stick to short fur. This can cause infection. If you want to do it right with grooming, it’s best to seek advice from a dog hairdresser, says Zimpfer.

Running with the dog? Taboo when it’s hot

Even if athletic people can’t give up their jogging routine even in the heat: nothing for dogs. Your vet recommends that if you go for a walk, do it on foot and instead in the shady evening hours rather than the sunny midday. In addition, the owner should test, for example by hand, whether the asphalt is not too hot for the dog.

If the animal has collapsed – whether it is a dog, cat or rodent – it should be cooled by wrapping it up and using cool, wet towels. “But cooling doesn’t have to happen suddenly,” Zimpfer says. Placing an ice pack on your dog can cause cold shock. Cooling is only first aid. Then you need to go to the vet immediately to help your animal friend.

Horses and Heat: You have to know it

Large animals such as horses also suffer from heat. “The first priority is to provide adequate water,” says Andreas Volsch, an equine veterinarian and head of the Seaborg Equine Clinic in Dallgo-Doberitz (Havland). You should definitely give your horses more water than usual. That can go up to 30-40 liters per horse on hot days. Unlike older adults, for example, you don’t have to encourage animals to drink. They will instinctively stock up on the right amount when the water is ready.

Read more after the announcement

Read more after the announcement

“Horses also love it when you rinse them with cold water,” says Volstich. Keeping the running hose on their feet for ten minutes or a quarter of an hour is good for them. The fact that they have had a cold shock shouldn’t worry you. Horses in general like it cooler than humans anyway. If the horses are uncomfortable, they will show it as soon as they walk away.

Horse pastures need shaded places

It is important in the pastures to have shaded places that the animals can protect. Animals decide for themselves whether they prefer to stay in the sun or in the shade – and they usually do so instinctively. Barns exposed to sunlight should be well ventilated, and cool water is also a humidifier in this case.

In fact, like humans, horses can also suffer from heat stroke and, in the worst case, can collapse, that is, inversion. Then the vet should be called immediately. The animal itself must be cooled with cold water. Horses can get sunburn depending on coat type and condition. This is why shade is so important.

By the way, there is no ban on driving on hot days. Animals can also afford to ride a horse. However, if they sweat profusely afterwards, they should be given drinks containing electrolytes, just like athletes.

Leave a Comment