Tests have found that even on a 29-degree day, the inside of a car can reach 44 degrees within 10minutes and hit 60 degrees within 20 minutes.
In summer it is important to be aware of the impact of hot weather on pets and people.
Dogs and cats will modify their behaviour to minimise the effect of hot conditions, so you may noticethat your pets are less active and seek out cool areas when things get uncomfortably warm.
Dogs and cats rely mainly on panting to keep cool.
Panting causes evaporative cooling, as air is forced in and out of the airways over the moist tongue.
This is a less efficient cooling method than sweating, and pets can suffer from potential fatal heat stroke in certain circumstances.
Older, overweight animals are more vulnerable to the heat than their younger, slimmer counterpartsand, thick-coated or short-faced breeds (such as Boxers or Pugs) are at greater risk than shorthairedor longer faced breeds.
Unfortunately, owners can unthinkingly cause problems for their pets in hot weather.
Probably the greatest cause of heat stroke in pets is confinement in parked cars.
Never leave your pet alone in a parked car in summer, even if you have left a window slightly open.
The temperature inside a parked vehicle can quickly rise to dangerous levels (this also applies tokennels located in unshaded areas).
Another common cause of heat stroke in dogs is over exertion. Dogs will push themselves beyond theirlimit if encouraged to do so by their owners. Do not force your dog to run beside you as you ride alongon your bicycle, and dont initiate an extended game of fetch on a blazing summers day.
Signs of heat stroke include:
Lack of co-ordination.
If you observe these symptoms, take the following steps to gradually lower your pets bodytemperature:
Immerse your pet in a basin of cool water or use a hose to spray the animal, making sure that youthoroughly wet the chest, belly and inside the legs.
Allow your pet to drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
Seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible.
Other hot weather issues worth remembering:
Dogs and cats dont wear shoes, so hot concrete or asphalt (often sticky on the hottest days) can burntheir paws.
Dogs and cats can get sunburn, particularly round the eyes, ears and nose.
Sunblock can be used, but make sure it is designed for use on pets.
Pets and children share a high risk of heat stroke.
Melbourne's Age reports that Ambulance Victoria figures show that 50 children were left in carsbetween Monday, Jan 13 and Friday Jan 17, 2014when temperatures soared into the mid-40s across partsof Victoria. These included 11 cases of unattended children on the Monday, eight on Tuesday, 13 onthe Wednesday, and a further nine on both the Thursday and Friday.
Editors note: The candle pictured inside GSA1 turned to hot wax on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 when the outside temperature hit 43C -109.4F at the GSA Bonbeach office, Victoria .
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