Hot hot hot

Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere. I know this because our cats are now seeking the shade in the middle of the day. They even appreciate the tiled floor at this time of year and stretch out on it to cool down. The rest of the year they take the shortest route across it that they can because they think it feels cold on their paws!

I just need a few minutes in the shade!

Sometimes I like to be in the shade!

We have a heat wave that is forecast to last for the next week or two. I’m taking my walks very early and I enjoy having a splash in a cool stream to cool down. I’ve written before about the ways I stay cool – Wise Up, Cool Down.

I hardly get to go in the car at all in the hot weather, but I hear that some people still leave dogs and young children in the car when it’s hot. Some of them have died. The car heats up very quickly and becomes unbearably hot. Veterinarian Dr Ernie Ward closed himself in a car with the windows slightly open and made a YouTube video showing how quickly it became unbearably hot – you can see it here. It was a hot day when Dr Ward did this, but even at moderate temperatures of 22°C/72°F the temperature inside the car can soar to 47°C/117°F in under an hour.

Heatstroke can be fatal. Some warning signs of heatstroke are:

  • heavy panting
  • profuse salivation
  • a rapid pulse
  • very red gums/tongue
  • lethargy
  • lack of coordination
  • reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances.

If a dog is showing signs of heatstroke, it is important to get the dog into a cool place. Here is some advice from the RSPCA about first aid to cool the dog down. It is important to do this and take the dog to a veterinary surgery as, even if the dog appears recovered, there could be complications later.

Puppies are more at risk of getting heatstroke than adult dogs, so it’s important to keep an eye on them. Don’t let them keep tearing around in the heat, calm them down and get them to sit in the cool.

My guinea pig friends at Hutch A Good Life have written some excellent advice about keeping our smaller furry friends safe in the hot weather. Our little grass-munching buddies just need a few simple precautions to protect them, so that they can enjoy being outside.

I’ve been very serious this week, but just remember that even lizards get too hot and move out of the sun! Be safe and enjoy the summer!

See you next Wednesday!

Update: Some really important points that shouldn’t be missed were made in the comments.

Ann “Paws” Staub took her own temperature after a hot car journey and her temperature was high, so we need to be aware that animals can overheat while we are on the move.

Animalcouriers reminded us that the ground can be very hot and burn paws badly.

Piranhabanana raised the point that some rooms, such as garages, can get very hot. It depends on the design of the house, be aware which rooms get too hot and don’t close animals in them.

Cody posted a link to an infographic giving signs of heatstroke in cats, while his brother Dakota posted about what you can do to help if you see a dog in a hot car.

Flea told us that our feathered friends, such as chickens and ducks, need plenty of water and shady spots.