Social media recently exploded with a story about a beloved family pet, a Rescue Greyhound called Baron, who was placed in a boarding kennel in the Newcastle area for 7 days while the family were on holiday.  Sadly, when the family arrived to pick up their family pet, they were told he was no longer in this world.

Whilst it is still to be confirmed, from what the vet described, it seems likely that the poor dog died unnecessarily of dehydration and heat stroke.

This is a timely reminder to all of us to be vigilant when it comes to ensuring our pets are kept cool, not only when it is sweltering, but in all conditions. Here are the signs to look out for, and what you should do:

Watch out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Noisy / exaggerated panting
  • Droolling
  • Weakness 
  • More severe symptoms can include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting and even collapse

If you see these signs and are concerned, the best thing is to go to your vet immediately.

What you can do to help cool your pet down:

  • Place your pet in front of an air conditioner or a fan whilst in the car
  • Place wet towels on hairless parts of the dog (footpads and groins)
  • Spray pet lightly with water (spritz, not a hose)

How to prevent heatstroke:

  • Never leave your pet in the car – the internal temperature can become as hot as an oven in minutes, even when it is not exceptionally hot outside
  • Avoid exercising your pet in the heat of the day – stick to early morning and evening
  • Clip you pet’s coat to help them stay cool
  • Make sure there’s always lots of fresh water available to drink – hydration is extremely important
  • If you are out in the heat of the day with your pet, keep them out of direct sunlight and give them a shady place to get out of the heat of the sun.
  • Remember the pads and paws can also be burned walking across hot sand or tarmac
  • The best advice? Simply keep them indoors as much as possible on a hot day.
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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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