Heat exhaustion and dehydration can be detrimental to our pet's health and is a condition that becomes more common through summer, especially when the humidity is high.
Understanding some simple ways to keep your pet cool through hotter days can be an easy way to avoid dehydration.
PetSafe Australia has released their 8 simple tips to keep your pet cool and hydrated this season:
1.MORE WATER MORE OFTEN: Animals need more water than humans. Dogs for example are made up of 80 percent water where humans are only 60 percent. Therefore in the heat of summer your dog requires more water, more often.
A general rule of thumb is that a dog needs 70ml of water per kilogram of body weight, so a 4.5kg dog needs two bowls a day, and a 35kg dog needs 10. The easiest way to encourage your pet to constantly rehydrate is with a pet drinking fountain. These provide fresh, filtered water to your pet and the multiple streams of free falling water entice your pet to drink more.
2. PROVIDE SHADE - ALL DAY: Most dog owners are not home for most of the day, with pets being left alone sometimes up to 10 hours. Make sure you provide your pet with adequate shade that will last all day. This can be easily achieved by investing in a shade cloth, large outdoor umbrella or canopy, or a kennel. But remember not all dog houses are 'heat proof' so make sure you give them an all day shady option.
3. KEEP THAT HAIR SHORT: Just like you would prepare your home for bush fire season; you need to prepare your pet for summer. The shorter the hair the cooler they will stay so if you have a dog with a long or shaggy coat give it a nice short shave. This will keep them cool.
4. EXERCISE AT DUSK OR DAWN: All pets need some exercise; however if you take them out for walks in the summer time change your routine to dawn or dusk walks. This makes it cooler for you and your pet and is also less harsh on their paws when walking on the hot ground.
5. LET THEM DIG: Believe it or not dogs don't just dig from boredom. It can be to hide food, toys and to keep cool. Just remember a little bit of digging wont hurt.
6. FREEZE SOME DOGGIE ICY POLES: Dogs love a frozen treat in the summer and it cools them down. Pet icy poles are easy to make and can keep them busy. Just add their favorite treats to water and freeze.
7. GIVE THEM A BATH: Shallow pools are a great way for your pet to cool down. Buy a child's sand pit and fill it with shallow water and watch them splash.
8. DON'T CHAIN THEM UP: Some people will tie up their dogs in the back yard when they head out for the day; but this can prevent them from finding cool shade or respite from the heat of the day. If you don't have adequate fencing you could invest in a pet containment system; or corner off a smaller section of the yard that has plenty of shade and water.
Dehydration in pets can be very serious and even deadly in some cases, being aware of your pets hydration needs could be the difference between life and death for our pets over the summer.