Dr Ilona Hudson sits down with News Of The Area to discuss way to keep animal cool this summer

7 year old ‘Prieka’, adopted as a rescue puppy now lives her days relaxing in Port Stephens.
7 year old ‘Prieka’, adopted as a rescue puppy now lives her days relaxing in Port Stephens.


HOT has been the answer for most lately when asked how they are doing.

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If they could speak, our fur babies would say the same.

News Of The Area sat down with local Veterinarian Dr Ilona Hudson to discuss the best way to care for our four legged family members in the heat.

If your pets are two big to bring inside with you then an outdoor patio or Queensland style room is the next best place to provide them shelter.

Dr Hudson said, “Providing your dog an area out of direct sunlight with moving air is really important.”

“Many people will place a fan on their outdoor undercover area to create a breeze.”

It is common practice to wet dogs down with cool water to help them cope, however you could be making it worse.

Dr Hudson told News Of The Area, “Using water to cool your dog down is fine as long as they have immediate access to a fan or continuous running cool water.”

“If pets are wet down and left to sit without a breeze they will actually get hotter than they were previously.”

Heat stroke signs to watch for are uncharacteristically lethargic behaviour, distress, and the edge of their tongue curling when they pant.

Immediate cooling methods are vital if you see these signs.

The timing of exercise and your dogs breed must be carefully considered.

Dr Hudson told News Of The Area, “If you are unable to place the back of your hand on the road for at least five seconds without feeling the burn, then it is too hot to walk your dog on.”

“Dogs with thick or dark coloured coats heat up far quicker than others.”

Sun safety is essential for all of us, even your dogs.

Dr Hudson said, “Many dogs like to lay with their belly up facing the sky, in particular the bigger terrier breeds.”

“This needs to be monitored as their bellies will burn and they can develop skin cancer.”

Pet sunscreen is available or children’s sunscreen is also a viable substitute.

Placing ice blocks in their water bowl helps to cool their drinking water.

Dr Hudson said, “You can also freeze dry food or chicken stock in a large block of ice for them to enjoy.”

The message may seem obvious but it is clear, taking five mins to consider what a small child would need in the same circumstance may just save your fur baby’s life this summer.


By Kelly May

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