Heatwave: 6 tips to help animals cope with high heat

When the thermometer gets carried away, vigilance is also required for our pets. Dogs and cats do not have the same mechanisms for regulating their body temperature as we do. While we sweat, for them it is the gasping and peripheral vasodilation combo that allows them to evacuate heat. To help them overcome the heat waves, some recommendations are necessary.

Extreme ages, sick animals and brachycephalic breeds (such as French and English bulldogs, pugs, etc.) will ventilate less well. Fiery young people will forget to drink or take care of themselves. Particular attention will be paid to them. The cat generally tolerates heat better, taking this resistance from its African ancestor from desert regions.

Adapt exit times

If your cat goes out, he should be able to come home in the cool whenever he wants. Eventually, block the cat flap or prevent it from going out in the middle of the day. For a city dog, we upset the schedule: go out early in the morning and late at night. Beware of heat from asphalt or manhole covers: this can burn the bearings! So we walk in the shade and we don’t leave it stationary for too long when we chat with the neighbor.

Minimize physical activity

Do not impose any intense physical effort on your animal and do not make it play excessively. In the excitement, he could put himself in the red. Other dogs are reluctant just to walk around. Estelle, Happy’s mistress, says: “When it’s too hot, I have to drag him out. He goes to bed, and doesn’t want to go any further. When areas of shade and sun alternate, he stops at the border so as not to put a paw in the sun. » And if your dog really needs physical activity, find a corner with a water point where he can play and cool off.

Keep a cool interior

If you go away and leave your dog or cat alone, make sure your interior stays cool. Close the shutters, draw the curtains, and check that you haven’t accidentally locked your pet in the veranda. Just as it is forbidden to leave your dog alone in a car, even in the shade, even half-open windows, even just long enough to go buy a baguette. In a few minutes, the cabin becomes an oven and your animal can die.

Monitor the good hydration of your animal

You can encourage your animal to drink more. Multiply the water points at home. For the dog, bowls of fresh water with ice cubes will amuse him. For a cat, choose cups with a thin layer of water to lap up. These are sensitive to moving water so you can invest in a water cooler. You can also serve your pet mash, containing 70% humidity compared to 15% for kibble. Pay particular attention to the hydration of an animal with fragile kidney health (certain breeds of cats, or older animals). Overworked kidneys to concentrate urine and fight dehydration deteriorate more quickly.

Apply some refreshing tricks

Offer your dog or cat a wet and fresh towel, a bag of peas out of the freezer that you wedge against him under a cloth; caress it with a moistened glove, use an atomizer or even wet the end of the paws. Doctor Tanguy, veterinarian in Méry-sur-Oise completes: “You can massage the inside of the pads with alcohol at 70 degrees, which brings an immediate feeling of cold”. On the market, there are mats or even refreshing bandanas, but also small above-ground pools for dogs!

Beware of heat stroke, a vital emergency

Doctor Tanguy warns us: “After an effort outdoors or if your animal has fallen asleep in direct sunlight, bring it in to cool: it must find its breath quickly. If the panting does not stop, the body temperature does not drop below 39 degrees and the mucous membranes are congested, it is the start of heat stroke, it must be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible”. The clinical picture can be completed by vomiting, diarrhoea, staggering or even convulsions and lead to the death of the animal.

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