13.07.2022, Spanien, Madrid: Ein Hund versucht Wasser aus einem Brunnen zu trinken. In vielen Regionen Südeuropas stöhnen die Menschen schon seit Wochen unter enorm hohen Temperaturen - und die Gluthitze soll andauern. In Spanien und Portugal gab es diese Woche teilweise bereits deutlich über 40 Grad, in Frankreich soll es laut Wetterdienst Météo France am Mittwoch örtlich 39 Grad warm werden - Tendenz steigend. Foto: Paul White/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

All of Germany is groaning under the ongoing heat wave. This not only affects us humans, but also our pets. Dogs, cats, rabbits or horses now need special protection because their circulation and body temperature are particularly sensitive to heat.

In the wild, animals have mostly developed sophisticated survival mechanisms to protect themselves from overheating. For example, wild rabbits dig branched tunnels and caves into which they can withdraw when the outside temperatures are high. In captivity, however, they often suffer from the high temperatures in the barn and can even suffer life-threatening heat stroke.

Pets depend on the help and thinking of their owners. Jana Hoger, a specialist at PETA, knows that too. “In hot weather, animals have to protect themselves from the sun’s rays and cool down just like people do, otherwise the temperatures can quickly become a great danger,” says the trained veterinary assistant. For the ongoing heat wave, she has put together helpful tips for people with animals.

Heatstroke can quickly become life-threatening in pets. Here you can find out what to look out for and what first aid measures are required.