By RYAN FLOYD | HAWKESBURY COMPANION ANIMAL SHELTER
As the Christmas season approaches, and our minds turn to holidays, summer weather and celebrations, it is important that we make plans that involve our pets.
In the hot weather, with their fur or feather coats, they can quickly overheat. Make sure you leave them somewhere with plenty of shade and access to plenty of water. Check the weather ahead of time – if you suspect that the weather is going to be extreme, please make arrangements for your pets to be taken care of somewhere cool.
If you see any of the following symptoms – change in gum colour (bright red or pale), drooling, dizziness or disorientation, dullness and collapse, increased heart and respiratory rate, vomiting and/ or diarrhoea, muscle tremors, and seizures – your pet may have heat stress. Please seek veterinary assistance immediately.
If you are away during the day, make sure you leave your pets with plenty of things to keep them occupied. Dogs love snuffle mats, treat balls and scavenger hunts. Even something as simple as cardboard boxes will keep your kitty entertained.
If your pet has toys, make sure you rotate which ones are available to keep things interesting.
Pets can also be very sensitive to loud noises or flashing lights, such as thunderstorms or fireworks. If they are:
• Give your pet a safe place they can retreat to if they feel scared. It could be something as simple as a corner, or a kennel with blankets, with their favourite toys. Not only will they feel safe, it will help muffle the noise
• Give them their favourite toys, play games with them, or give them some food or a treat. Turn on the radio or TV to help hide the sound.
• If you know ahead of time there will be fireworks, taking your pet out during the day for exercise can help them rest and sleep through the noise.
• Just being with your pet during a storm or fireworks can help them feel safe.
• Make sure your yard is secured, and that there isn’t any way for your pet to leave the yard. Check ahead that there aren’t any storms or fireworks planned while you are out.
• Make sure the information on their microchip is up to date, and that your pet is wearing a collar with a tag with your contact details, just in case they escape while scared. That way, shelter staff can return them to you.
Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter is open these hours during the holiday break:
• Dec 24th – 9am to 2pm
• Christmas Day – Closed
• Boxing Day, Sunday, Dec 26th – 7 to 9.30am
• Dec 27th and 28th – 7am to 9.30am
• Dec 29th – 9am to 12.30pm & 2pm to 4.30pm
• Dec 30th – 9am to 12.30pm & 2pm to 4.30pm
• Dec 31st – 9am to 2pm
• New Year’s Day, January 1st 2022 – 9.30am to 11.30am
• January 2nd and 3rd – 7am to 9.30am
• Standard operating hours will be in effect all other days. Phone: 4560 4644