RSPCA issues hot weather advice to pet owners as summer arrives

The RSPCA has issued advice on keeping your pets safe during the summer
The RSPCA has issued advice on keeping your pets safe during the summer

Thursday, 09, Jun 2016 01:03

by Joe Jeffrey

With temperatures set to set to (hopefully) rise over the next month or so, the RSPCA has issued advice to pet owners to ensure their animals are comfortable and happy in the heat

Despite the UK weather being somewhat sporadic as late to say the least, it's certainly true to say summer has finally arrived. It's also true to say that many of you will be hitting the road, with your trusty four-legged family members heading along for the ride as well. Before you do, however, the RSPCA has issued some crucial advice on protecting your pets from the detrimental effects heat can have on them when in confined spaces.

A prime example as to how quickly heat in confined spaces can rise was proven last month when RSPCA inspector, Anthony Joynes, placed a thermometer in his van in 15C heat and left it for an hour to see what temperature it would reach inside his vehicle. Within just 60 minutes, the temperature had climbed to 43.5C.

Inspector Joynes said: "In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police. The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we'd need police assistance at such an incident.

"If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke - such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting - call 999 immediately."

If the situation becomes critical and police can't attend, many people's instinct is to break into the car to free the dog. Without proper justification, however, this could be classed as criminal damage, so make sure you tell the police of your intentions and take photos or footage of the dog as well as names and numbers of witnesses. UK law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.

If the above situation does arise, once removed from the car, move the dog to a shaded or cool area and douse him or her with cool water while allowing the dog to drink small amounts of cool water.

If the dog isn't displaying signs of heatstroke, establish how long the dog has been in the car and make a note of the registration. Ask a member of staff to make an announcement of the situation over the tannoy, if possible, and get someone to stay with the dog to monitor its condition.

Finally, dogs obviously need exercise, even when it's hot. But the RSPCA has also said that you should avoid exercising them in excessively hot weather. Experts advise walking in the morning or evening when it's cooler.

The RSPCA's top tips for pet owners in hot weather are:

- Don't let your pet get sunburnt

- Ensure animals have access to shade and fresh drinking water

- Keep fish tanks out of direct sunlight and top up water levels of ponds

- Keep pesticides out of reach of animals

Will you be taking your pet away with your for your summer holiday? If so, how do you protect them? It would be interesting to know what measure you take.

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