Last year the RSPCA received 7,199 calls about dogs suffering from heat exposure.
As the UK prepares for a heatwave, pet owners are being reminded to not take pets out during the hottest periods of the day and to leave them at home, rather than leave them exposed to rising temperatures in cars, which can result in heat stroke, or even worse, death.
With temperatures this week predicted to reach up to 29 degrees Celsius, a locked car interior would heat up to 48 degrees in one hour.
Madeleine Pike, Veterinary Nurse at Direct Line, said: “With this wonderful hot weather hitting the UK, it is important to remember that leaving your dog in the car whilst popping to the shops could have potentially fatal consequences or at least cause extreme discomfort to your pet.
“Cars heat up incredibly fast; even10 minutes when the temperature outside is 24 degrees Celsius could mean 34 degrees Celsius inside.”
Here’s how quickly your car heats up in even the shortest amount of time:
Madeline Pike continued, “Pet owners also need to remain vigilant when out and about and consider when they may need to introduce sun protection.
“Short haired dogs have ultra-sensitive skin which is often more susceptible to burning or causing the animal to suffer from heatstroke. To help prevent this, owners should apply sun cream to their dogs regularly for extra protection in warm weather and keep them hydrated and in a well-ventilated space.
“Limiting the duration and intensity of exercise during warmer days will also help to combat the effects of heatstroke and overheating. Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include excessive panting, drooling and lethargy.”
Here are the pet insurer’s tips for keeping your pet safe during warm weather:
- Don’t leave your dog in a closed car for any length of time – as the temperatures above show, it’s just not worth it and even for a short spell, you risk your pet’s life
- Apply sun cream to dogs, especially those with short hair – even though most dogs have fur, their skin can be incredibly sensitive and need some extra protection against potentially harmful ultraviolet rays
- Keep your animal in the shade when the temperatures are at their highest and limit the duration and intensity of your animals exercise
- Exercise early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperatures are cooler and always check the ground is not too warm before your dog walks on it – if the back of your hand can’t stay on the concrete for at least five seconds due to the heat, then it is too warm for your dog
- Always keep a fresh water supply with you for your dog when going out in the heat to ensure they remain hydrated – a staggering 8 in 10 British dog owners said that they have been denied water for their animal when visiting a pub, cafe or restaurant, according to research by the pet insurer
Please share and help to spread the word and keep dogs safe during the hot weather.