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How to keep four-legged friends cool during hot weather

The May heatwave continues in BC as temperatures are expected to stay in the high 20s and possibly crack the 30s this week.

During this heatwave, the BC SPCA is reminding pet owners to keep their pets cool at home.

“Always ensure that your animals have fresh clean water, and they should also provide them with shade,” said BC SPCA Senior Officer of Protection Eileen Drever.

Drever said it’s also good to provide them with ice cubes and damp towels.

“Do not exercise them in extreme heat, you have to limit when you’re going to exercise, either early in the morning or later in the evening,” Drever added.

Particularly with dogs, Drever said it’s important to use a pet-safe sunscreen for exposed parts of the skin when outside.

“For example on the ears or the nose,” she said.

“Do not use human sunscreen on them, speak to your veterinarian and they can advise you what to get and where to obtain it.”

Drever said if going for a walk, use the five-second test on the pavement or sidewalk.

“If it’s too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for the paws.”

Drever said it’s also important to groom long-haired dogs regularly, as the less dense the coat, the quicker they cool.

“Another suggestion I would recommend a paddling pool and use frozen toys for them to play with” she said.

“You could also provide ice cubes with chicken broth, that will keep them amused for a while.”

She added it’s important to leave the dogs at home if possible.

Drever said the signs of heat stroke in dogs are:

  • Panting heavily
  • Drooling heavily
  • Becoming lethargic, drowsy and uncoordinated

She said if you see those signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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