If a surface is too hot for your barefoot, it’s too hot for your pets, the SPCA said while urging pet owners to keep their animals indoors when scorching temperatures are expected.
SPCA: PLEASE REPORT ANIMALS IN HOT CARS
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA furthermore warned that leaving your beloved animals in a hot car – whether the car is parked in a shaded area with the windows rolled down or not – can be fatal.
The animal welfare organisation called on the public to report animals in hot cars to 021 700 4158/9 or 083 326 1604 after hours.
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White-faced dogs are advised to be kept indoors, and pet-friendly sunscreen should be applied to pink noses, ear tips, and hairless areas.
THE SIGNS OF ANIMAL HEATSTROKE
The SPCA also added that pet owners of short-nosed dog breeds should pay extra attention as this breed does not pant effectively and are more susceptible to heatstroke.
- Signs of animal heatstroke (that requires immediate veterinary treatment):
- Dark red gums
- Excessive or exaggerated panting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Unresponsiveness to surroundings
“The rule is simple, if a surface is too hot for your barefoot, it’s too hot for your pets,” the SPCA said.
Before you reach for the leash consider these simple tips:
- Check the pavement before your walk. Place your hand or bare foot on the pavement for five seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin, then it’s most likely too hot for your pet.
- Walk during cooler times of the day. Avoid taking walks during the hottest time of the day. Instead, opt for walks in the early morning and late evening when the pavement is cooler.
- Keep midday walks short and shady. If you’re taking your pet out during the day, be sure to keep walks short. Choose a route with lots of shade and grass patches.
- Skip the asphalt entirely and choose to walk your dog strictly on grass or hiking trails.
- Consider outfitting your dog’s paws with booties to help keep the heat from burning their tootsies.
- If you have a longer adventure planned, be sure to bring water and take frequent breaks.
How to tell if a pet’s paw pads are burned:
- Pet appears to be in pain and showing signs of discomfort. If your is pet holding up a foot, limping, vocalizing, licking or chewing at the feet or is not wanting to walk.
- Pads are damaged if you notice a change in colour, typically they’ll be darker and will change from pink to red.
- Pet’s paw pads that are burned will be visibly damaged with blisters, ruptured blisters, and redness, and pieces of pads are missing.
First aid for burned paws:
- Bring your dog inside right away, or to a safe cool place. Carry your pet if necessary.
- Flush the foot with cold water or use a cold compress.
- Try not to let your dog lick the injured pad.
- Consult your veterinarian.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS TO FOLLOW
Here are a few safety precautions to follow:
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated.
- Never leave infants, children, older adults, individuals with disabilities or pets in a vehicle unattended.
- If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke seek emergency medical care immediately.
- Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, such as morning and evening hours.
- Rest often in shady areas.
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