Ways to beat the heat can be howling success for pet owners

Jess and Cassy enjoy cooling off under the garden sprinkler yesterday. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON
Jess and Cassy enjoy cooling off under the garden sprinkler yesterday. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

ONE of the favourite ways for Jess the labradoodle and Cassy the Irish water spaniel to cool down on hot days is to go for a run under the sprinkler.

With the next week of warm weather forecast, Launceston RSPCA Animal Care Centre manager Lorraine Hamilton said pet owners should remember that their animals needed appropriate care, too.

Jess and Cassy's owner, Robyn Anderson, said the dogs enjoyed the sprinkler cool- down under a big tree in the backyard when it was warm especially Cassy, as she had darker hair.

However, Ms Anderson said both dogs stayed inside on very warm days.

Ms Hamilton it was all about being prepared for whatever kind of pet you owned.

"We know we're in for a week of hot weather so we need to plan for it," she said.

Ms Hamilton's pet tips for warm days:

•Pets, particularly dogs, should have multiple sources of clean, fresh water in case one is tipped over. And make sure they are left in constant shade.

•Ensure there are areas of constant shade where they can sit.

•Older animals are particularly vulnerable to heat stress and could be left inside on very hot days - the best rooms are the bathroom or laundry with cool floors.

•Don't walk dogs in the heat of the day - the best time is between 6am and 7am or very late in the day.

•Don't leave pets in the car if you go out, just leave them at home.

•Pet iceblocks made in an old margarine container with a raw chicken wing or a raw hide with a very light stock, will keep animals hydrated as well as busy for hours.

•Rabbits and guinea pigs can suffer from heat stress quite easily, so ensure that they are in constant shade, their water drip is functioning properly and you can also put a frozen two-litre bottle in their cage for them to lie against.

•If you do think your pet is suffering from heat stress - is lethargic or panting a lot - cover them in a wet towel and put them in a cool area, however they may need to go to a vet.