Keep your pets well hydrated to prevent heatstroke

PETALING JAYA: Prepare a larger drinking bowl to keep your pets well hydrated in the current heatwave, says an animal group.

Companion Animal Rescue Effort Society founder Joseph Chia said it is very important to make sure pets are well taken care of, especially at this time.

“Get a bigger drinking bowl for your dogs and cats. It is even better to get a bowl made of clay as dogs in particular have a tendency to tip bowls over,” he said.

Chia, who runs animal shelters in Lima Kedai and Stulang in Johor, said he had been making sure that the dogs and cats under his care had enough water.

“The weather has been really hot and it can take a toll on cats. If your pets are not drinking enough water, it can lead to serious health issues such as kidney problems,” he said.

Chia said dogs usually need to drink every seven hours but with the current weather, it is better for owners to make sure their pets drink every four hours.

“I understand that pet owners may have to go to work and only come back late evening or night, so get a bigger drinking bowl to ensure your pets have more water when they get thirsty,” he added.

Veterinarian Dr K. Manikam confirmed that cats and dogs are susceptible to kidney disease if they are not properly hydrated.

“The internal organs, especially kidneys, will suffer damage if animals do not get sufficient water,” he cautioned.

He said cats especially will develop kidney stones if they do not have enough water to drink.

“So it is important that they have enough water to flush out the stones that may be forming,” he pointed out.

According to Dr Manikam, in India, big earthen pots filled with fresh water are placed throughout the streets in urban areas for street animals during the hot spell.

Malaysian Association of Veterinary Nurses and Assistants president Chong Su Via concurred and said hydration is especially crucial for dogs during hot weather as panting can lead to excessive fluid loss.

“A panting dog not only loses body fluid quickly, the agitation of the increasing body temperature leads to a higher respiration rate, causing even more fluid loss. A distressed, panting dog can become hot very, very quickly,” said Chong.

When this happens, dogs can suffer from heatstroke.

Chong said she had come across many cases of dogs suffering from heatstroke even when they were kept in the shade.

A dog can suffer from heatstroke at any time of the day if it is dehydrated.

“Circulating air is also very important for animals in this weather as still air can lead to heatstroke,” she added.

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pets , hydrated , heatwave


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