Whether your pet is a dog, cat or small furry, as Uk Met Office forecasters issue a heat wave alert while temperatures continue to soar, we should consider suspending our normal behaviour to help ourselves and our pets cope. We are not used to these conditions in the UK and we try never to let anything stand in our way of continuing our daily lives, but this kind of heat kills by pushing any body beyond its limits. In dogs, for instance, when an internal temperature is raised too high a chemical reaction occurs that breaks down the cells in his/her body which can result in death. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. A heat wave is an extended period of extreme heat, and is often accompanied by high humidity. These conditions can be dangerous and life-threatening for humans and animals alike who don't or can't take precautions.
However, just a few simple common-sense steps, until the heat wave passes, can save lives.
With this in mind we should certainly check on our pets more often as they cannot ask for our help when they feel poorly. And, as in humans, the elderly, very young and those who are already suffering from any kind of illness are more at risk.
We are advised to stay out of the sun between 11am - 3pm, this is because temperatures are at their hottest between these times. This is especially important for animals too. Consider if it is too hot in their usual location to leave your pet outdoors regardless of how much water and shade your pet has. If it is move them, they can go back to their usual place when the heat wave has subsided.
We are told to drink refrigerated cold water, even if we don't feel thirsty, to replenish liquid removed by sweating and sweating is a very important part of keeping cool. Our pets should be treated in exactly the same way. Especially, as most are wearing furry coats. So, every time you drink a cold drink you should change your pets water so they, too, have cold water to drink when they need it.
It is a good idea to keep curtains drawn to keep internal rooms cool. Why not think about bringing your outside pets indoors. Especially if their house/hutch is kept on tarmac or concrete as these surfaces store heat longer and then gradually release that heat at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures.
An especially good tip to cooling down is to wear damp clothes. The heat from your body will cause the water in your clothes to evaporate, cooling you down. For animals, who can't take off those furry coats, remember, use damp sheets or tea towels . Even better, wrap a frozen bottle of cold water in a tea towel and place it in their bed/house/hutch.
NEVER, EVER, EVER leave children or pets in parked cars - NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE !!!
Look out for signs of heat stress and heat exhaustion -
HEAT EXHAUSTION - is a serious condition and should be treated as soon as possible. Symptoms include - SWEATING, CLAMMY SKIN, NAUSEA, DIZZINESS, VOMITING, FAINTING, LOSS OF ENERGY/STUMBLING, THIRST
HEAT STROKE can occur suddenly and is an emergency - Seek MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY. Symptoms include - SEIZURES, RAPID BREATHING/HEAVY PANTING (in dogs), RAPID PULSE, CONFUSION, UNCONSCIOUSNESS, HIGH BODY TEMPERATURE, HOT & DRY SKIN
In each of these cases you can offer immediate relief by wrapping your pet in a cool, damp sheet or tea towel.
DO NOT place them in cold water or spray them with cold water, this can cause a sudden change in body temperature and they will go into shock as a result.
Even if you don't have an appointment get to your vet as soon as possible for further treatment - THIS IS AN EMERGENCY.
REMEMBER, your pet may not be able to tell you what is happening to them, which is why you must check on their behaviour regularly.
Put your vets telephone number in your mobile now. And contact them as soon as you realise your pet is acting differently from normal, your vet will be able to talk you through steps to give your pet immediate, possibly, life-saving help while you transport your pet to your vet for treatment.
Be safe, not sorry.
Information obtained from www.wikihow.com