JOHANNESBURG – The persistent heatwave currently gripping South Africa saw unseasonably high temperatures as this could prove insufferable for our thick-haired pets that can’t adapt to the situation.
Domestic animals don’t have an epidermis like their human counterparts to sweat and to cool off so they primary means of cooling off are to lose heat through panting. In addition, heat gets trapped in their bodies because of thick hair found on most dogs and cats.
Here’s ways you can keep pets cool during the current heatwave:
1. Keep pets out of direct sun – If your pet enjoys spending time outside, try to keep them in shaded areas and to take water and cooling breaks during the day. Avoid any physical activity with your pet during the sun’s peak times (12pm-3pm) as these are the hottest and most dangerous times of the day.
2. Keep your pets hydrated – Pets lose a lot of water through excessive panting, digestion and when exposed to heat or when they’re active.
3. Don’t leave your pets locked inside a car – This is a given and applies generally to anyone who cannot control the temperature of a vehicle.
4. Don’t forget to monitor symptoms of heatstroke – Look out for vomiting, seizures, and diarrhoea in your pet during a heatwave. If these conditions continue to persist, try to cool the pet down and seek medical attention