Not only people, but also pets are suffering from the current heat. Gudrun Sohnrey from Animal Welfare Calw and the surrounding area explains how to make summer bearable for dogs, cats and other small animals.
Althengstett – Strong sunlight, high temperatures, only a gentle breeze every now and then – this can also be uncomfortable for the beloved four-legged friend, even downright dangerous. So according to Sohnrey, there are a few things to consider. “Simple measures often go a long way,” says the longtime animal rights activist.
How can I best protect my dog and cat from the heat?
“With the current heat, you should go for a walk in the morning by 11 a.m. at the latest,” says Sohnrey. The sun is not yet that high and the dog is exercised when the temperatures are still tolerable. “Anyone who has an apartment under the roof where heat builds up extremely well should ensure good air circulation, meaning permanently tilting a skylight, which is also vital for caged animals such as hamsters.” Sohnrey also recommends soaking and laying out three to four towels to cool the dog.
Whoever has a cat in the apartment should close the shutters and leave all rooms open. “The cats then look for a place where they can withstand the heat well,” says the animal rights activist. At home, Sohnrey gives the cats access to the basement rooms, where it is constantly cool. “The water source is now very important for outdoor cats,” Sohnrey continues. “It’s best to get a large bowl or a large pot that you fill regularly and put out,” she recommends. This can not only help your own cat, but also other animals to fight the heat. Drinking enough is the be-all and end-all for animals at this time – ‘from butterflies to hedgehogs’.
He also urges all pond owners to monitor the water level closely: “A pond like this can quickly capsize or dry up in no time.” How quickly this can happen can be seen every day in the lake at the premises of the animal rescue station Im Eulert, which is currently well populated because many fish have been released recently: “We are only refilling the water.”
How do I know if my dog has heatstroke?
Sohnrey advises keeping a closer eye on your dog or cat if temperatures are persistently high. If a dog is panting a lot, this could already be the first warning sign, because unlike humans, the dog’s sweat glands are not used to cool down – panting is largely responsible for this. If your pet is drooling a lot, has glassy eyes, or doesn’t respond when you call them, it may also be a sign that they need help quickly, possibly from a veterinarian.
Under no circumstances should a dog be left in the car, “not even with the window slightly open.” Life-threatening overheating of the animal can occur in a very short time. “There is an acute risk to life,” says Sohnrey. And he strongly advises not to do this either: bike jogging, that is, riding a bike and letting the animal walk beside you on a leash.
Should you cut a dog in the summer?
For dog breeds that have a lot of fur, hot summer days are almost unbearable. Trimming the fur can bring some relief. But dogs can also get sunburn on bald or heavily trimmed areas. “Most owners let the dog’s groomer do it, and they know how much fur they can remove without the dog risking sunburn in over-shaven areas,” says Sohnrey.
How do cats behave when they get heat stroke?
“They get anxious and gasp too,” says the animal rights activist. Animals would become extremely lazy. Shortness of breath and hyperventilation could be other signs of overheating. Other small animals react similarly: “Rabbits lie down when they overheat.” If you take care of your animal, carefully observe its behavior and react quickly in case of an emergency, you and your beloved pet will surely overcome the summer heat well.