As temperatures rise above 30C this week, the RSPCA is warning pet owners to avoid leaving their dogs in cars, caravans, sheds and conservatories, as they are at serious risk of death if they are left inside hot environments.
There were 106 calls over the past weekend to the animal welfare charity’s emergency 24-hour phone line, as people reported dogs being left in hot locations. According to the charity Dogs Trust, 48 per cent of people think it is fine to leave a dog inside a car, as long as the vehicle is either in the shade or the windows are open. However, this is not true, the charity said.
Being stuck in hot environments is not the only risk to dogs. Many owners fail to realise how hot the pavement can get, resulting in their dog’s paws being blistered. As a general rule of thumb, if you place your hand on the pavement, and can’t hold it there for five seconds, it is too hot for your dog to walk on.
There are a number of tips to help dog owners look after their beloved pet in the hot summer period:
Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day (midday), and do not do any strenuous exercise between 11:00 and 16:00
Make sure your dog can access lots of fresh water
Never leave your dog locked in a car or other hot environment
Try to always ensure your dog can access a cool area when indoors, or shade when outside
Sponge cold water on their feet, stomach and armpits if they get too warm
Consider clipping your dog’s hair, or investing in a cooling coat