How do I protect my animals from the heat?

Like any living being, your animal can be inconvenienced by strong heat, directly because the ambient atmosphere is heavy, even suffocating, or indirectly by reverberation through a glass pane.

The important points will be to ensure their hydration or, in the case of fish (which should not experience dehydration problems!), to control the oxygenation of the aquarium water.

Dogs and cats :

Dogs and cats, the most frequently encountered animals, cannot regulate their body temperature like a human being, but they will be able to manage themselves as long as they find something to hydrate: water. Therefore, provide one or more bowls in your pet’s living rooms, especially if you are away all day; give your pet access to cooler rooms; try to leave a window open to let air circulate, close the shutters where the sun will shine the most.

In periods of high heat, it will also be advisable to change their diet a little to avoid intestinal problems due to the increased absorption of liquids.

For your dog, long walks are also to be avoided, especially if they take place on a road or stony paths: the heat stored in the ground can indeed cause burns to the pads of the legs and at the very least, overheating. Imagine walking barefoot on a road that has been accumulating heat for hours and you will understand what your pet is at risk.

In general, for all the pets you can take with you, avoid too hot areas and of course avoid the beach as long as the sand is hot, not to say burning, because your pet will also suffer from the heat by dehydrating. To make him enjoy the sand and the sea, choose the early morning hours: fresh sand, pleasant temperature will be much more bearable…even for you!

One of the consequences of a bad reaction to heat, especially in dogs, is sunstroke: wet hair, rapid panting, sometimes vomiting, are the most common symptoms. But don’t ignore or underestimate them l Bring him quickly to cool him down with a damp blanket and take him to your veterinarian.

And finally, don’t leave them in your vehicle which turns into a real oven even if you leave a window ajar!

The NACs :

They are called NACs: these new pets are ferrets, hamsters, rabbits and other mice. These animals live mostly in their cages. It is therefore important to ensure that they have plenty of water and that they are away from strong sunlight and draughts. A damp cloth placed partially on the cage can be a way to keep your pet cool, but do not cover the cage completely, as this may cause your pet to become hot/cold.

Fish :

Your fish, as we have written previously, do not risk dehydration per se but an aquarium too close to a window or in the axis of the same window will change the chemical balance of the water which could be fatal to the fish and in a lesser evil generate algae in the pond, algae that can also be harmful. No “cover” because an aquarium needs light, but pay attention to its artificial lighting (whose radiation is designed to restore natural light and therefore contribute to water quality), its cleanliness, and the water temperature (too hot water will generate algae).

Birds :

A bird or several birds: we don’t talk much about the sensitivity of these animals, but their organisms are fragile and temperature variations, especially in hot weather, can kill them. Above all, do not cover the cage, which would prevent air circulation; do not put it in a draft, even when hot, as your birds may not recover, and add one or two water tanks depending on the number of occupants in the cage.

Let’s come back to the food for your pet. Heat alters appetite and drinking more fluids alters digestive behaviour. Therefore, you will need to provide your pet with food supplements that will contribute to the internal hydration of its body and its general balance. In liquid form for easy absorption, these foods are rich in proteins; for ferrets, mice, guinea pigs…you will place a fresh straw of varied composition that your pet will be able to eat more easily; also add mineral blocks to lick.

You have noticed that the gestures are finally quite identical whatever the animal that accompanies you daily: it is above all a question of having a sensible attitude towards your animal. Tell yourself that the warmth that you feel and that you may be suffering from is felt in the same way by your pet but that, unlike a human being, the adaptation and regulation is not only natural but depends on yourself, on your behaviour towards him and on your understanding of his needs.

Last recommendation: during this summer period, make sure that your usual veterinarian is present or locate the practitioner who will be able to take care of your pet; on your vacation spot, do the same by identifying the veterinarian available on site, you will be all the more serene in case of a problem.