Vet reminds pet owners to keep their animals cool on hot days

LABRADOR pup Roxy’s favourite way to stay cool yesterday was with a sponge bath at Greencross Vets.

And veterinarian Dr Rebecca Jennings has urged pet owners to take additional precautions during the hot weather ahead to help animals avoid heat stress.

“Summer is the busiest time of the year here,” Dr Jennings said.

“We normally have some severe heat stress cases and we’ve had some problems with our cardiac patients.”

Signs to watch for include excessive panting, bright red gums and abnormal behaviour such as lying down flat on one side.

Dr Jennings said not to walk dogs outside in the heat.

“Even if they’re bored inside, it’s still much safer than risking heat stroke,” she said.

Older animals and newborns are most at risk, as well as pugs and bulldogs who are unable to pant as efficiently to cool down.

It is also important to increase your pet’s water intake by ensuring wet food and fresh drinking water are readily accessible.

“You do need to check on them a lot. If you just set an automatic feeder and go away, they could get into heat stress fairly quickly,” said Dr Jennings.