From Iceland — Animals In Iceland Are Struggling With The Current Heat

Animals In Iceland Are Struggling With The Current Heat

Published July 23, 2021

Alina Maurer
Photo by
Art Bicnick

As the east and north of Iceland are dealing with a small heatwave, the human species isn’t the only one struggling with the temperatures. Veterinarians are warning people to take precautions in order to keep their furry creatures safe and sound.

Animals need some extra care in hot temperatures

According to RÚV, a veterinarian in Akureyri, received pets that have become ill in the heat and dogs with burnt paws from the hot asphalt. Temperatures have risen up to 26°C in the east and north of Iceland, with the sun only setting at around 23:00.

Andrea Margrét Þorvaldsdóttir is looking after horses in a stable in Breiðholt in Akureyri. The vast majority of horses are out at this time of year and exposed to the burning sun of recent weeks.

Andrea explains, “The horses are okay in such heat if they get shelter from the sun. If they get a little shade, they don’t feel bad at all. They need to have access to fresh water, not stagnant water, and enough salt. When horses sweat, they lose so much salt.”

It might come as a surprise but horses can get a sunburn—just like humans. It is very common for horses to get sunburn around the nostrils and mouth if they have fair skin.

Rush hour at the vets due to the heat

Precautions apply to all domestic animals. Elfa Ágústsdóttir, a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital Lögmannshlíð, states that it is not good for cows to be outside in such sun and heat. According to her, cows can sunburn on their udders and white cows can burn their whole skin.

Elfa claims that her workload has increased significantly since the high temperatures; especially dogs, burning their paws on the hot asphalt, have struggled.

“The asphalt can heat up and the dogs are walking on it. Then most of the skin on the paws can burn,” Elfa explains.

Both veterinarians agree that animals are quite ready for some northern wind and rain, although human Icelanders are thrilled about the warm temperatures and the sun.

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