With temperatures soaring across the Province, this vital message from the RSPCA must be taken on board.
Don’t leave your dog alone in a car.
When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes.
Dogs pant to keep cool. In hot stuffy cars dogs can’t cool down – leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens won’t keep your car cool enough.
If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call the Police on 999. If the police are unable to attend, please call our 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999.
Heatstroke – early warning signs
Heatstroke can be fatal. Some dogs are more prone than others:
- dogs with short snouts
- fatter/muscley dogs
- long-haired breeds
- old/young dogs
- dogs with certain diseases/on certain medication
Heatstroke develops when dogs can’t reduce their body temperature.
- heavy panting
- profuse salivation
- rapid pulse
- very red gums/tongue
- lack of coordination
- reluctance/inability to rise after collapsing
- loss of consciousness.
Heatstroke – first aid
Act quickly, heatstroke can be fatal! If dogs show any signs of heatstroke, move them to a shaded, cool area. Ring your vet immediately.
Urgently, gradually lower their body temperature:
- Immediately douse them with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock – you could use a shower, or spray and place them in the breeze of a fan.
- Let them drink small amounts of cool water.
- Continue dousing until their breathing settles – never cool dogs so much that they begin shivering.
Once your dog is cool, immediately go to the vet.
- Your dog must always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment.
- Never leave dogs alone in cars, glass conservatories or caravans even if it’s cloudy.
- If you do leave dogs outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where they can escape from the sun.
- Always provide good supplies of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that can’t be knocked over. Carry water with you on hot days.
- Groom dogs regularly to get rid of excess hair. Give long-coated breeds a haircut at the start of summer.
- Never allow dogs to exercise excessively in hot weather.
- Dogs can get sunburned – particularly those with light-coloured noses/fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.