As the mercury heats up again, it’s important that pet owners pay extra attention to ensure their animals stay healthy through particularly hot days.
Dr Bronwen Harper from Pets on Elgar Veterinary Clinic and Veterinary Nurse Training Centre says there’s a lot that people can do to keep pets, livestock and wildlife cool.
By following these basic tips you can help your animals stay more comfortable and avoid dangerous heat-stress.
- Keep the sun off: Provide shade for pets and livestock. Move pets inside if possible and if you have air con – even better.
- Provide water: Make sure pets and livestock have plenty of access to cool fresh clean water. You can add some ice to keep it cool. If your pet likes to tip water bowls over, make sure you’ve got more than one bowl of water so they don’t dehydrate if one spills.
- Be extra careful: Young and old animals are extra vulnerable to heat stress. Take extra care to keep them cool and hydrated.
- Guinea pigs, rabbits, chooks and other birds: Are all very susceptible to heat stress – don’t forget about them in the hot weather. Provide shade, bring inside if possible and make sure they’ve got plenty of water.
- Walking: If you’re taking your dog out for exercise make sure you avoid the hottest parts of the day and go for early morning or evening walks instead, and don’t overdo it.
- Cool off: If your dog likes a paddle consider taking them somewhere they can cool off in a creek, river, pond or beach. Small plastic kids wading pools are a good option and can provide heaps of cool entertainment for dogs.
- Hot cars kill: Never, ever leave your pet in a warm car, even for short periods of time.
- Think about the wildlife: Australian wildlife suffer in extreme weather also. Simply placing water in shallow bowls outside for wildlife (out of reach of predators like cats and dogs) will help them survive.
- Stay observant: Heat stress can be potentially fatal for animals. If there’s any change in the behaviour of your pets – take them to a vet immediately.
If you’re interested in a career working with animals, call and speak to a course advisor on 1300 BOX HILL or come to one of the upcoming Box Hill Institute Information and Application evenings (all 3.30pm until 7pm).
For more information, visit our Animal Studies page.
Pets on Elgar is a veterinary clinic and training workplace for veterinary nursing and pet grooming students at Box Hill Institute. Students have the opportunity to interact with pet owners and animals under the direction of experienced veterinarians and supervision of veterinary nurses and pet groomers.
Box Hill Institute is a leading Victorian vocational and higher education provider known for its collaborative and creative approach to education in Australia and overseas. Box Hill Institute offers a wide variety of courses to both local and international students, from apprenticeships to degrees, short courses to diplomas, and in a range of delivery modes including full time, part time and off campus.