HEATWAVE - Tips on keeping your furr babies safe!
With temperatures expected to surpass 30°C in Joburg leading into the weekend, pet owners are encouraged to take extra precautions to make sure their fur babies are comfortable.
According to the Johannesburg SPCA, heatwaves not only affect humans, but are equally uncomfortable for pets.
The SPCA shares tips to keep your pets happy and comfortable during extreme temperatures:
1) Never leave your pet in a parked car
The temperature inside a closed or partially open car could reach as high as 54.4°C in as little as 10 minutes if it is 32°C outside.
This is enough to induce irreparable brain damage, kidney and/or liver failure and even heart damage —which could result in death.
Dogs regulate their body temperature through expelling heat by panting, which then assists with evaporation. The confines of a car hinder this process.
2) Don’t rely on a fans
According to the SPCA, fans cannot effectively cool down pets as they do humans. Remember that dogs primarily sweat through their feet.
A tip from our behaviourist is to leave a wet towel in a cool, shaded area so your furr baby can lie down on it when needed.
3) Provide ample shade and water
Pets need protection from the heat and direct sun and lots of fresh cold water. Pet owners should keep the water bucket/bowl in the shade along with their kennel.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
- Rapid breathing
- Dry mouth and nose
- Rapid heart rate
- Grey-pink or red gums
- Loss of consciousness
If you suspect that your fur baby might have heat exhaustion, move them into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Provide them with water and help cool them down with cold towels to the neck, head and chest.
Pet owners should contact and take their pet to a veterinarian.