Heat wave. The right things to do to protect your pet

The heat wave that has raged for several days in France will hit eastern France in particular on Tuesday. With temperatures between 37 and 40 degrees, it is highly recommended to stay cool and hydrated.

An instruction that also applies to pets. Especially since the latter unlike humans can not sweat, which reduces their ability to self-regulate their body temperature. Here are the steps to adopt (and avoid) to protect your pet during this heatwave.

Freshness and hydration

This is a common sense measure, but it is nonetheless important: When the thermometer rises, remember to fill your pet’s water bowl regularly. If you are away for several hours, do not hesitate to leave more water points in your home. Installing a fountain can be a plus: the flowing water will fascinate your cat or dog and encourage it to drink. In any case, do not give ice water to your little animal.

To cool your pet, moisten its head, abdomen and extremities with a washcloth. You can also put a wet cloth in the fridge and then lay it on the floor so that your companion lies down there.

If you notice that your cat or dog is not drinking much, put some water in their dehydrated grains. You can also add pre-cooked, watery vegetables to his dish, “like cucumbers or zucchini,” suggests Jean-François Rubin, chairman of the Grand Est Order of Veterinarians’ Regional Council. On the contrary, avoid giving him food that is too sweet or high in protein.

Inside instead of outside

In case of strong heat, it is important to limit the physical activities of the animals. Take your dog out early in the morning or late in the evening and prefer wooded areas as asphalt or sand can burn its pads. If you leave your cat outside, make sure it has a shady area.

Inside, your pet will be more comfortable on tile floors. Do not hesitate to create a small shelter for him by laying a damp cloth on a drying rack.

Shaving the hair: the false good idea

Intuitively, some owners shave their pet’s hair to freshen it up. However, the animal fur acts as a natural barrier against both cold and heat. Like breathing, it helps dogs, cats and rabbits regulate their temperature, in addition to protecting against UV rays.

Shaving your animals is therefore a false good idea, a fortiori when they go outside. However, it is helpful to brush them regularly or care for them. Jean-François Rubin also recommends using “waterproof index 50 on the nose of dogs” to avoid sunburn.

Never leave them in the car

We can never say it enough: in the summer you should never leave your dog in the car, even with an open window. Inside, the temperature can reach 60 ° C in minutes.

If you see a dog being strangled in a vehicle, try to find its owner. Otherwise, the gendarmerie or the police, who are authorized to break a window to rescue the animal, will be notified. As a last resort, free the beast yourself, but surround yourself with witnesses to prove your good faith.

On the road to vacation, keep in mind that it can be much hotter in the back of a car than in the front. To protect your pet, “give it water, air your car lightly and stop regularly”, Jean-François Rubin recommends.

What to do in case of heat stroke?

If, despite your precautions, you notice that your animal is tired, that it breathes a lot, and that its mucous membranes (lips, gums, tongues) turn red, you must act immediately: your companion may fall victim to heat stroke, possibly . be deadly.

Place it in a cool, quiet place and wrap it in a damp (but not freezing) towel. “You have to cool your head first,” says Jean-François Rubin. Contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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