Don’t risk killing your dog – keep them cool and safe indoors during the heatwave.
Dogs could suffer from heatstroke and scorched paws if they are walked in Wiltshire during the high temperatures and blazing sunshine over the coming days.
With temperatures in Wiltshire expected to hit 40 degrees Celsius on Monday, dog owners are being told to leave their animals at home – rather than walking them or taking them out in the car.
Across the county, on social media, there have been reports – some with evidential photographs – of dogs being walked during the midday sun.
In one case last week, in Amesbury, a man was witnessed crouched down beside a large fluffy dog that had ‘collapsed’ under a shady tree during a walk in the mid-afternoon heat.
Dogs can cope without being exercised for several days, so why risk killing them by forcing them to encounter the sun’s rays. Instead, leave them in a shady, well-ventilated, cool room.
Dr Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor of Companion Animal Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College, said: “Heat-related illness can lead to organ failure, brain damage and ultimately death.
“Most people know that dogs die in hot cars, but the reality is that more than 10 times as many dogs need veterinary treatment for heat-related illness following exercise as for being overheated in cars.
“It can take weeks for a dog to acclimatize to hot weather, so after a spell of cold winter, periods of hot weather can be particularly dangerous.”
Tips for keeping dogs comfortable in warm weather:
- Never leave your dog in a hot car, ever.
- Never leave your pets in any vehicle or caravan, or in a conservatory or outbuilding.
- Exercise dogs in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.
- Avoid over-exercising dogs in warm weather and avoid encouraging them to over-exert themselves when playing.
- If you know your dog has an underlying condition, then take extra care in hot weather or consider skipping walks altogether.
- Provide constant access to fresh, clean water and cool, shady resting spots.
- Avoid taking dogs on long days out in the heat.
- Remember, pavements can get very hot in the warm weather – if you can’t comfortably keep your hand on the ground for five seconds, then it’s too hot for your pooch’s paws too!
- If necessary, use a pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin
For advice, visit the RSPCA website. In an emergency, contact your pets’ veterinarian.
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