Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Having a dog in bed with you may help you sleep better!

Mayo Clinic Sleep study discovered nearly half of pet owners reported they felt more rested with their animal in their bedroom than without!


Factors to Consider Regarding Where Companion Animals Should Sleep

Guiding principle: The sleep of the pet owner takes priority over loyalty to the pet:

  • How well does the pet owner sleep?
  • How well does the bed partner sleep?
  • Is the pet free of fleas, dirt, burrs, etc.?
  • Any pet allergies?
  • How large is the bedroom; the bed?
  • Does the pet sleep soundly?
  • Is the pet quiet?
  • How many pets?
  • Does the pet sleep on the bed and, if so, where on the bed?
  • Does excluding the pet from the bedroom work (or is the pet making noise for attention)?
  • Does the pet have any special needs (medications, voiding) requiring attention at night?


If none of the above are present:
  • Does the pet enhance a sense of security?
  • Does the presence of the pet aid relaxation?


Study Abstract:
Data was collected by questionnaire and interview from 150 consecutive patients seen at the Center for Sleep Medicine, Mayo Clinic in Arizona. 
  • 74 people (49%) reported having pets
  • 31 (41% of pet owners) having multiple pets. 
  • More than 50% pet owners (56%) allowed their pets to sleep in the bedroom. 
  • 15 pet owners (20%) described their pets as disruptive 
  • 31 pet owners (41%) perceived their pets as unobtrusive or even beneficial to sleep. 
  • Health care professionals working with patients with sleep concerns should inquire about the presence of companion animals in the sleep environment to help them find solutions and optimize their sleep.


Source: 2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education & Research 2015;90(12):1663-1665; Center for Sleep Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Homeless people and their pets share unbreakable love

Many homeless insist that "their animal companion is their best friend and oxygen without whom life wouldn't be worth living." What pets need most is human companionship, they don't need a house. They love, adore and protect their owners.

Pets offer a vital relationship to many homeless individuals. They provide unconditional love and friendship to people who face loneliness and alienation in life on the streets. 
Although homeless pet owners struggle to care for their pets, many choose to put their animal's needs first, choosing to go hungry themselves rather than see their companion go hungry.
There is an increasing recognition of the important role pets play in the lives of the homeless. 
It's therefore encouraging to see charitable organizations such as "Pets of the Homeless" that focus on providing food and veterinary care for pets of the homeless. 
A powerful bond that exists between many homeless people and their pets. It reinforces the message that pets don't care how much money a person has, all they care about is love.

Blind Service Dog’s Smile Brightens The Lives Of Others


Born without sight, Smiley serves up a smile and hope to those who need it most!
Bright and perky therapy dogs are a common sight at many nursing homes. They bring a smile to the faces of those no longer able to communicate and joy to the hearts of care-givers. But what if said therapy dog was himself afflicted with many of the same ailments suffered by his senior clientele? Enter Smiley, a therapy dog extraordinaire who not only relates to aging (84 in dog years) but vision loss, as he is completely blind.

In fact, this gentle Golden was born without eyes and suffering from dwarfism – a double death sentence when home is a puppy mill.
But fate was kind to this sweet boy as a rescue shortly after his second birthday brought him to his current home and to a career with St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program who credit him with changing the lives of hundreds of men, women and children.

In addition to his retirement home duties, Smiley joins special needs kids at library reading programs demonstrating first-hand (or paw) that they shouldn’t dwell on their disability, where you come from or what happened to you as a child.  And at 12, Smiley shows little interest in slowing down.
Owner, Joanne George says, “his fur may be getting a little whiter and his steps may be getting a little bit slower, but his tail will never stop wagging.”

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Pets & Health: Family Physician Survey (USA)

The Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation partnered with Cohen Research Group to conduct an online panel survey of 1,000 family doctors and general practitioners. This is the largest survey of its kind to explore doctors’ knowledge and attitudes towards the human health benefits of pets.


28-question survey was conducted in Aug 2014 with 3.1% margin of error (+/-). The physicians in the survey had a median of 18yrs of practice experience.

MOST DOCTORS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY WORKED WITH ANIMALS IN MEDICINE
  • 69% have worked with them in a hospital, medical center, or medical practice to assist patient therapy or treatment. They report interactions with animals improve patients’ physical condition (88%), mental health condition (97%), mood or outlook (98%); relationships with staff (76%).

DOCTORS BELIEVE THERE ARE HEALTH BENEFITS TO OWNING PETS
  • 97% reported that they believe there were health benefits that resulted from owning a pet.


THE MAJORITY OF DOCTORS HAVE RECOMMENDED A PET TO A PATIENT
  • 60% of doctors interviewed have recommended getting a pet to a patient. 43% recommended the pet to improve overall health and 17% made the recommendation for or a specific condition.


MOST DOCTORS HAVE SEEN THEIR PATIENTS’ HEALTH IMPROVE AS A RESULT OF PET OWNERSHIP
  • 75% of physicians said they saw one or more of their patients’ overall health improve, and 87% said their patients’ mood or outlook improved.


DOCTORS ARE WILLING TO PRESCRIBE PETS
  • 74% of doctors said they would prescribe a pet to improve overall health if the medical evidence supported it; 8% said they would prescribe a pet for a specific condition.

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation Accepting Proposals

DEADLINE: JAN 27, 2016

The vision of the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation (HABRI) is to demonstrate that our relationship with pets and animals makes the world a better place by significantly improving human health and quality of life. HABRI does this by advancing the growing body of evidence about the positive roles that companion animals play in the integrated health of individuals, families, and communities.

To that end, HABRI, in partnership with the Morris Animal Foundation, is calling for research proposals that investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for people and the animals involved. 

Priority will be given to projects that focus on novel approaches to studying the health effects of animals on humans within the broad categories of child health and development, healthy aging, and mental health and wellness. HABRI is interested in proposals that involve a variety of animals (e.g., dogs, cats, fish, horses, reptiles, and various small animals).


Approximately $200,000 will be available for multiple grants. It is expected that between five and ten grants will be awarded.

See the Morris Animal Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Link to Complete RFPwww.morrisanimalfoundation.org/researchers/habri-request-for-proposals.html 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Dogs poop in line with Earth’s magnetic field

A study published this week in the journal Frontiers in Zoology suggests that dogs choose to relieve themselves along a north-south axis in line with Earth’s magnetic field. The research was carried out by a team of Czech and German scientists.


“Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field,” said the research team. “Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis” rather than the East-west axis.

The study examined the daily habits of 70 dogs during 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years. Consistently, during times of calm electromagnetic 'weather' - the dogs chose to eliminate while facing north or south. 


Dogs are not the only animals that are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetism. When it comes time for them to mate, salmon use their sense of the Earth’s magnetism to find their way back to the spawning grounds where they were born. Birds, also, migrate along magnetic lines. Even ants have been proven to have a sense of the Earth’s alignment and to distinguish between north, south, east and west.

As to why the dogs prefer to poop facing north or south rather than east or west, that’s still a mystery.

“It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it ‘consciously’ (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorial perceived (the dogs ‘see,’ ‘hear’ or ‘smell’ the compass direction or perceive it as a haptic stimulus) or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction),” said researchers

“Our analysis of the raw data (not shown here) indicates that dogs not only prefer N-S direction, but at the same time they also avoid E-W direction.”

The dogs did not exhibit the preference, however, when they were being walked on leashes. It was only when left to their own devices that they expressed the preference.

Whatever direction your pooch poops in make sure you pick up after them...

Source: Frontiers in Zoology 2013, 10:80 27 Dec 2013

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Australian Customs & Border Protection Service - Detector Dog Program - A Case Study

Summary

The development and application of a scientifically based method of selective breeding for needed traits in detector dogs has enabled the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to overcome the severe limitations of the opportunistic method of obtaining detector dogs which had previously been used. 


The success of the program has not only enabled Customs & Border Protection to make more extensive use of detector dogs in its operations, with associated benefits in terms of drug seizures in particular, but also delivered further national benefits from the provision of dogs to other Australian agencies and the capacity to supply both animals and expertise to counterpart agencies in a number of other countries.


Customs & Border Protection began using detector dogs in 1969 and, in light of the support for use of detector dogs from the Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs, Customs & Border Protection moved to establish a Detector Dog Training Centre in 1979, with dogs being recruited from a combination of commercial breeders, animal shelters and public donation. However, this approach did not provide a sound basis for supplying dogs suitable for training - the success rate was 1:1000 from the general population.


In seeking to address this issue, the management of the Centre established that no breeding and development model existed anywhere in the world that would meet the key requirements of a guaranteed supply of dogs suited to detection work for known cost. 


The Centre established a collaborative research partnership with the Royal Guide Dogs Association and the Universityof Melbourne under which a doctoral investigation of genetic and environmental influences upon key detector dog traits was undertaken. 
  • A pilot breeding and development program for 54 dogs was undertaken by Customs & Border Protection as part of this research.
  • Based on the outcome of the research program, notably the selection rates of 24% for dogs involved in the pilot program, Customs & Border Protection built the National Breeding & Development Centre (NBDC) for production of 40 dogs per year. 
  • The NBDC has built on its initial success, with over 1800 dogs having now been bred and retention rates for breeding / detector placement have increased to around 75%.


The NBDC was also able to refine its developmental training to produce multi-response dogs for searching both cargo and people, which has led to greater levels of productivity and flexibility in deployment as the one detector dog can operate across the full array of border environments. The program has also been expanded from narcotics detection to encompass chemical precursors / explosives and firearms.


The capability provided by the NBDC is not only utilised by Customs & Border Protection. It played an important role in providing dogs for explosives detection at the Sydney Olympics and now provides dogs to the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Australian Federal Police, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, and State & Territory Police and correctional services.


The innovative approach of the NBDC has also delivered foreign relations benefits to Australia. A recognised world class breeding and training program initially led to close cooperative links with a number of US Government agencies and the provision of both animals and genetic material. 


Similar cooperative links have since been developed with a range of other countries and detector dogs and puppies have now been supplied to China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining. The NBDC continues to mentor the partner breeding colonies established abroad.

Key Observations from Case Study


Major innovations

Customs & Border Protection moved from an opportunistic method of obtaining detector dogs with a significant rejection rate to a scientifically based method of selective breeding for needed traits with a high success rate. The breeding program was adapted to move from narcotics detection to multi-purpose detection including firearms and explosives. Customs & Border Protection now has a world-class breeding & training program and has provided assistance to both domestic agencies and a number of overseas countries.


Observations & lessons learned
  • Innovation prompted by a problem - an inadequate supply of appropriate dogs for training as Customs Detector Dogs required a new approach to be taken.
  • Built on previous experience - Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia guide dog breeding and rearing program and an earlier PhD study of behavioural characteristics provided a proven basis from which to work.
  • Fostered by established networks of cooperation - contacts between Customs & Border Protection, Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia and University of Melbourne facilitated a cooperative and collaborative approach to evaluating the potential of selective breeding.
  • Business case based on scientific evidence - PhD study by Kathryn Champness through University of Melbourne showed that desired traits could be enhanced through selective breeding.
  • Importance of an innovation champion - John Vandeloo saw the need for more, and better, detector dogs and opportunity offered by a selective breeding program and pushed forward with the University of Melbourne trial despite some skepticism within Customs & Border Protection.
  • Organisational responsiveness - once proven by the PhD study, Customs & Border Protection quickly supported full implementation of the selective breeding and puppy raising program at its National Breeding & Development Centre.
  • Adaptation, improvement and building on success - in response to the changing security environment the breeding program was expanded to include firearms and explosives detection dogs. Detection capability was supported by a proficiency maintenance and competency program for both dogs and handlers.
  • Leveraging comparative advantage - domestic and international recognition of the world-class breeding program and cooperation has strengthened domestic and overseas detector dog programs and brought broader strategic benefits to Australia.
  • Recognition & rewards - the 1998 award of a Public Service Medal to John Vandeloo for his work with the detector dogs program provided high-level recognition and encouragement to John and his team.

Please note: If you are interested in becoming a foster carer please complete the Foster carer application form (247KB PDF)Your application form can be mailed to: Australian Border Force Detector Dog Program - Foster Carer Program, 180 Loemans Road, Bulla Vic. 3428, or, send your enquiry to: fostercarers@border.gov.au or call 1800 664 106.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Australia's first dedicated dog behaviour and cognition laboratory

Questions that have dogged humans for decades about the behaviour of their canine companions could soon be answered in Bendigo. Australia's first dedicated dog behaviour and cognition laboratory has opened at Latrobe University, Bendigo.

The lab will allow the university's researchers to advance the world's knowledge of man's best friend. They are already hot on the scent of discovering what makes dogs ticks and how they interact with their owners.


Associate Professor Pauleen Bennett, who heads up the lab, said researches were keen to either prove or dispel a full bowl of myths about dogs, including are they really colour blind? Do they see optical illusions? And do they see the same things as humans when watching TV?

"I'm interested in knowing why dogs and humans have such a special relationship," she said. "Dogs have lived with humans for thousands of years and we seem to have evolved particular skills in terms of interacting with them and they have evolved different skills in terms of interacting with us. They can understand human ways better than any other animal on earth and that makes that special. We are designed to have dogs in our lives and understanding how that works is important in improving not only animal welfare, but human welfare."


The first project underway will Test Dogs' Visual Processing.

Psychology and counselling research officer Tiffani Howell said to determine this, the lab was adapting a technique commonly used on human babies to test reflective eye movement. Dogs will be presented with images of moving vertical bars to determine if they follow them with the same involuntary eye movement as humans.


“As the bars move closer, we see them as one dark blur and involuntary eye movement stops,” she said. “We will be testing if dogs experience the same. This is one way to test if dogs can see things as clearly as we can see them.”

The lab has excited overseas interest, with a group of a PhD students travelling to Bendigo to be involved. Sarah-Elizabeth Byosiere, a University of Michigan graduate, said she was relishing the opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking program.

“Pauleen is relatively well-known in the dog field and she has been doing some really cool dog research,” she said. “My aim is to figure out what these (animals) are visually perceiving and how they view the world.”

Professor Bennett and Dr Howell said the Bendigo community would be crucial to the lab, with canine volunteers being sought for current and future research.

“The sort of testing we do is always fun, it’s never difficult, painful or harmful to the dog,” Dr Howell said. “The owners enjoy seeing what their dogs are capable of and they get to say they helped advance knowledge of dog behaviour and dog cognitive processing.”

To add your dog’s paws to the list, email bendigo@latrobe.com.au

Source: www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au (Photos Darren Howe)

New technology helps handlers monitor health, well-being of guide dogs

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a device that allows people who are blind to monitor their guide dogs, in order to keep tabs on the health and well-being of their canine companions. The work was led by Sean Mealin, a PhD student at NC State, who is blind. This photo shows Mealin and his guide dog, Simba, using a traditional guide dog harness and handle.


"Dogs primarily communicate through their movements and posture, which makes it difficult or impossible for people who are blind to fully understand their dogs' needs on a moment-to-moment basis," says David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the new technology. 

"This challenge is particularly pronounced in guide dogs, who are bred and trained to be outwardly calm and avoid drawing attention to themselves in public."

To address this need, the researchers have developed a suite of technologies that monitor a dog's breathing and heart rate and share the information with the dog's handler.

"Our goal is to let guide dog handlers know when their dogs are stressed or anxious," says Sean Mealin, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of the paper. 

"This is important because it is widely believed that stress is a significant contributing factor to early retirement of guide dogs and other service animals. The technology may also be able to help handlers detect other health problems, such as symptoms of heat exhaustion."

The issue is particularly important to Mealin, who is blind and works with his own guide dog, Simba.

The research team had previously developed monitoring technologies that are incorporated into a lightweight harness that can be worn by rescue or service dogs. The trick was to find a way to share that monitoring data with users who are blind - and to do so in a way that allows those users to act on the information.

"We didn't want to give handlers an endless stream of information that would be difficult to interpret," Mealin says.

So, the researchers developed a specialized handle that attaches to a guide dog's harness. The handle is equipped with two vibrating motors.
  1. One motor is embedded in the handle by the handler's thumb, and vibrates - or beats - in time with the dog's heart rate. When the dog's heart rate increases, so does the rate at which the motor beats.
  2. The second motor is embedded in the handle near the handler's pinky finger, and vibrates in synch with the dog's breathing. The vibration increases and decreases in intensity, to simulate the dog breathing in and out.

"We wanted to use electronic signals that intuitively make sense for the dog handlers," Roberts says.

The prototype handle has been tested using simulated heart rate and respiratory data, and was found to be effective at accurately conveying information to users.

Prototype wearable technology for dogs 
"We're refreshing the design and plan to do additional testing with guide-dog handlers," Roberts says. "Our ultimate goal is to provide technology that can help both guide dogs and their people. That won't be in the immediate future, but we're optimistic that we'll get there."

Source: North Carolina State University. "New tech helps handlers monitor health, well-being of guide dogs." Science Daily. 16 Nov 2015 


Communication between dogs and humans could be improved with wearable tech for canines
  • Developed in the US, the harness is fitted with sensors that monitor both a dog's posture and its vital signs and can pass the information to an owner.
  • It also contains vibrating motors so owners can communicate with a dog even if it is out of sight.
  • The harness could help with training or refine how working dogs and their handlers cooperate.

Stress test: 

The harness was fitted with motion detectors to help interpret a dog's body language - their primary means of communication, said Dr David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at the North Carolina State University, who helped develop the prototype.

"We can determine when they're sitting, standing, running, even when they're out of sight," he said in a statement.

More subtle information about a dog's wellbeing is also gathered via heart-rate and body-temperature sensors. These can alert people if a dog is stressed or excited.

"We're reliant on the physiological and behavioural sensors to give us a picture of the dog's mental and emotional state," said Sean Mealin, a PhD student at NC State, who has also worked on the project.

"This can help handlers identify and mitigate stress for the dogs," said Mr Mealin. "It's an important issue. Particularly because guide dogs are bred and trained not to display signs of stress in their behaviour."

In addition, handlers can add another layer to the way they communicate with a dog, by making motors on the harness nudge a dog to reinforce a spoken command or prompt a dog to take action if it is a long way away.


Finally, the wearable tech can be augmented with a variety of other devices, such as microphones, cameras and environmental sensors that can gather data, as from dogs being used in disaster zones.

The creators of the harness are now working on a miniaturised version and improving its sensors so they can be used in animal shelters and hospitals to monitor the wellbeing of animals in care or recovering from treatment.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Man Risks Radiation Poisoning to Save Fukushima’s Abandoned Animals

Naoto Matsumura is the last person living in Tomioka, Japan. The area was devastated after the disasters at the Fukushima power plant, causing almost all of its residents to flee. They never returned, so now he is taking care of all the animals still living there.


According to BBC News, a man by the name of Naoto Matsumura is the last person living in Tomioka, Japan.  The area was devastated after the disasters at the Fukushima power plant, causing almost all of its residents to flee.


People left in such a rush that many doors were left open, and many animals were left abandoned.  Matsumura has taken it upon himself to be the personal guardian of the animals still living in the area.


He takes care of all of the abandoned animals, and lives by candlelight. He’s become known as the Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals.


He does his best to ensure that he gets as much food as possible for himself and the animals from outside the disaster zone. However, because he’s decided to stay behind to help, he’s most likely the world’s most radioactive man.


“Everywhere I went there was always barking. Like ‘we’re thirsty’ or ‘we don’t have any food’ so I just kept making the rounds. From then on, I fed all the cats and dogs every day.”

Find out more about Naoto Matsumura's work and how you can help at

Golden Retriever Saves Six-Year-Old Girl from Dying

Baxter, a Golden Retriever from Glasgow used to be a regular, loveable house pet, but last month his status changed from normal dog to hero dog after he saved 6yr old Olivia Goodman from drowning.

Olivia was fighting a high fever and stayed home from school to sleep off the virus. Her mom Amanda Goodman was watching over her, and while she did some house work she left the young girl asleep on the living room couch. Baxter stayed behind to keep Olivia company.

A few moments later Amanda heard the dog barking non-stop, she kept telling Baxter from another room to quit his barking, but the dog just kept on barking along. It seemed Baxter had something to say and Amanda went back into the living room to see what the pet wanted.

When she walked in the room Amanda found her daughter unconscious. The little girl was experiencing a seizure and because she was lying face up, her mouth filled with vomit. Olivia was drowning. Thankfully, Amanda was able to roll her daughter over and clear her airway. Goodman then rushed her daughter to a nearby hospital.

Thanks to Baxter and his loyalty to his family, Olivia is alive and well today. Once Olivia was released from the hospital she returned home. Baxter assumed his position as head nurse/alert dog and never leaves Olivia’s side.

Baxter, you are one amazing dog!





Jihu injects a lot of positivity in our lives!

Rolf and Vyrna are the proud owners of Jihu, the 2nd assistance dog to be placed in a Melbourne home in October. Vyrna recently reported that “all is going well”.
It is just one month since Jihu joined us, and I will never forget the sight of Alberto (from Assistance Dogs Australia) at the open front door, smiling broadly as he introduced the most beautiful dog I felt I had ever seen, a gorgeous black labrador! It was truly love at first sight – and we only hoped that we could be accepted as owners of this lovely boy. 
Since then, we have had a roller-coaster ride with intensive training under the expert tutelage of Alberto and Kristen, much walking, investigating new surrounds together, getting to know each other. We love his typical morning greeting, rubbing his head against us and enjoying a rub in return. While we could take this to be a pure display of affection, we also recognise the unspoken message: ‘time for breakfast’. 
By nature, Jihu is calm, soft, well-mannered, affectionate, accepting (of our occasional clumsiness), curious and obedient. He has accompanied us to hospital, where he lay next to the Rolf’s recliner while Rolf received a routine infusion. He has joined a group of ex-students at  50-year reunion at Melbourne Uni, untroubled by the BBQ’d meat being consumed on all sides. And he has shared a quiet moment of trust at home with Rolf, with his chin resting on Rolf’s hands and eyes locked. 
Although Rolf has a major problem delivering words of command, Jihu is developing an understanding of Rolf’s unspoken intention, delivered mainly by gestures, body language. Rolf summed his feelings up the other day, with a spontaneous: ‘This dog is MARVELLOUS!! He is just BEAUTIFUL’. Rolf is one happy man, which is what this is all about. And I share that, in spades!
Vyrna and Rolf

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Caring for Dogs over the Summer Months

Even for us humans, the Australian summer can be unbearable - especially when temperatures soar over 35 degrees. Air conditioners are a necessity, cold drinks and swimming in a pool or beach provide us with some relief, but it’s important to spare a thought for the wellbeing of our furry family members who are also struggling to keep cool!


Here are a few helpful tips that can ensure our companion animals avoid heat stroke this summer:

  1. Ensure that you dog always has access to water both inside and outside the house. It’s important to make sure that you have several bowls available to them, just in case one is tipped over or dries out. A good tip is to put ice blocks in them to keep the water cold. You can even freeze containers chicken stock for outdoor animals.
  2. Avoid walking your dog during the heat of the day. Remember that animals have sensitive pads on their feet that can also get burnt on hot roads and footpaths. A good alternative is to walk them early in the morning or later in the evening when the ground has cooled down.
  3. Be careful not to overexercise your pet. Animals get dehydrated easily as they cannot sweat. You can also get a collapsible water bowl for long walks to ensure you pet has lots to drink.
  4. Make sure that you have shaded areas in your backyard to provide protection from the sun.
  5. Animals get sunburnt too and are susceptible to skin cancer so pet friendly sunscreen can help keep your pet safe
  6. Paddling pools are a great way for animals to keep cool- just be sure to supervise your pets as some animals are not great swimmers (and make sure they have floaties if needed). Also make sure you hose your pet down after swimming in chlorine, salt or chemically treated waters and avoid them drinking it. Water spay mists are also good.
  7. Another great idea is putting trays, ceramic tiles or towels in the freezer and then providing these to your pets to lie on. You can even wipe them down with cold wet towels. Even most cats will allow this when the weather hits extreme temperatures.
  8. Allow outside dogs inside to cool down in front of the air conditioner or fan.
  9. Never leave any dog in a hot car even for a few minutes. Heat stroke can occur quickly - (within 6 mins) particularly for those with flatter faces like bulldogs and pugs. Even with the window down - the heat inside a car can rise from 30-60 degrees in just 10 mins!
  10. Know the warning signs of heat stroke- excessive panting, salivating, disorientation, diarrhoea, vomiting and fatigue can all be signs your dog isn’t coping with the heat. Older animals and those overweight can be more susceptible to heat stroke.
  11. Feel free to trim your dog’s coat but do not shave them completely. Dogs coats help protect them from the sun and regulate their body temperature.
  12. Never let your dog chew on dead fish they find at the beach - they may be poisonous - especially blow fish.


If you think that your pet is suffering from heat stroke:
  • Cool them down immediately with a cool bath or hose them down.
  • Once wet-dry them in from of a fan or air conditioner.
  • Take them to your nearest vet (Keeping them cool on the way there) animals can have internal bleeding or organ failure and can still be at risk of death hours or even a couple of days after suffering heat stroke.


References:

Source: http://www.petwelfare.org.au/caring-for-pets-over-the-summer/
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