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Five tips to reduce the effects of heat on pets

The pets, too, had a hard time getting through these hot, sunny days. Here are five veterinary tips to keep our four-legged friends having fun.

Recognize the signs

When a dog or even a cat is hot, it gasps. The hotter it is, the faster it will gasp. They cool themselves by panting and through their pawssays veterinarian Adrian Walton. However, the latter warns that if an animal overheats, it could stop panting altogether.

If his tongue is dry and he does not produce saliva, he can no longer cool down. If the animal does not respond to a stimulus that would normally capture its attention, this is also a sign of overheating.

A dog in a stream.

It’s important to stay tuned for your dog’s reactions to the heat, as he won’t be able to tell you if he’s too hot, according to veterinarian Adrian Walton.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Ben Nelms

Avoid alone time in the car

According to Adrian Walton, more and more people are calling his clinic to ask what to do if they see a dog left alone in a hot car. His response: Immediately call an animal welfare organization, such as the SPCA, or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Acting quickly is essential in situations like this, as a dog can overheat within minutes.

A quote from:Adrian Walton, veterinarian

A pet should not stay in a car in hot weather, even for a few seconds. He recommends leaving animals at home or bringing someone who can get them out of the car when it is parked.

Using ice cubes or water bottles

To help an animal cool down, the veterinarian suggests placing a few ice cubes in a bowl of water or providing the animal with a bottle of frozen water or a cold cloth.

The vet explains that a frozen water bottle placed under a cloth in the animal’s bed will allow him to lean on it to cool himself down and move away once he is comfortable.

The two liter bottles were still fresh when I got home at night, explains the one who used this trick with his own dog.

A man's hand holds a plastic water bottle and gives a drink to a dog.

If you’re thirsty on a hot day, so is your dog, says the vet.

Photo: The Canadian Press

Bring water and rubbing alcohol

During a walk, it is essential to bring water especially for your animal. A sweater or cloth can also be wet and put on the animal to keep it cool.

Adrian Walton recommends taking a vial of rubbing alcohol on a walk: If your dog is too hot, you can use this alcohol on his paws to help cool him down, as it evaporates much more efficiently than water, and it’s really good for cooling him down.

Choose the time of day

Asphalt sidewalks heat up quickly in the sun, which can burn the paw pads of dogs and cats. The veterinarian therefore recommends taking his walks early in the morning or in the late afternoon and evening to reduce the risk of damaging the animal’s legs and prevent heatstroke.

Dogs have evolved to perform as well as possible during short bursts of energy; it is therefore important to adapt the type of exercise so as not to overwork the animal.

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