Animal Aid

Keep animals cool in hot weather

Posted 22 July 2014

With the recent arrival of hot weather, we should be reminded that animals suffer and die when temperatures rise. Dogs die very quickly in hot cars and they should not be left inside them even for very short periods. Opening a window a few inches is not sufficient.

The British Veterinary Association has an excellent poster that can be downloaded and displayed in windows, cars and car parks.

It’s not just dogs who suffer in heatwaves. Rabbits must not be left in a hutch in the glaring sun or inside a sweltering garage or shed. (They should not be kept in a hutch anyway.) They need a cool, shady place where the air circulates, and where they are able to move freely. A hot rabbit can be kept cool by applying cold water gently to his ears. Should your rabbit become listless, or start breathing hard through an open mouth or go limp, get him to a vet immediately. Rabbits must also be checked daily throughout summer months for signs of flystrike.

Smaller animals, like hamsters, rats and gerbils, can be kept cool by opening windows and closing curtains, using a fan (but not pointing it directly at them), refreshing water and providing a frozen water bottle, wrapped in a towel so that it cannot be chewed.

And don’t forget wild animals. Shallow dishes of water can be provided and should be replenished regularly. If you see an animal in distress, call your local wildlife rescue centre.

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