Rising heat puts pets at risk


Pet owners are being warned to keep their pets cool this summer. Source: Pete Markham.
Pet owners are being warned to keep their pets cool this summer. Source: Pete Markham.

As the mercury begins to rise, animal welfare groups have called for pet owners to be wary of the symptoms of heat stroke in their furry friends.

RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said there were a number of signs that could indicate an animal, particularly a dog, was suffering from heat stroke, with the most obvious being excessive panting.

“Some breeds [of dogs] are more affected than others, such as those with a snub nose as they already have difficulty breathing, “ said Mr Beatty.

“The simple thing to do is never leave your animal without water or shade.”

Mr Beatty said animals tragically die every year from pet owners not taking the appropriate steps in hot conditions.

“We have cases where dogs left on chains have become tangled around something such as a tree and then, because they can’t access shade, have died from the heat exposure.”

When traveling with dogs on the tray of their ute, owners need to provide a shaded area and suitable covering for the base of the tray.

One of the most lethal situations for dogs is leaving them in a hot car.

“The amount of times we have seen cases of dogs being left in hot cars is quite ludicrous, especially when they can die in under ten minutes” said Mr Beatty

An RACQ experiment showed a neutral coloured car in 31C heat reached a sweltering 58C in less than eight minutes.

Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) spokeswomen Brooke Whitney said there is a number of ways owners can prevent heat stroke in their dogs.

“If you have to leave your dog outside for the day, especially in summer, you can put an ice block in their water to keep it really cool and also clam pools are a really great idea,” said Ms Whitney.

“We use clam pools at the shelters and some of the dogs spend the whole day in them in, they just love it.”

Visit the RSPCA website for more information about heatstroke in pets

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