As temperatures soar, the RSPCA is providing advice to pet-owners on how to keep their animals cool and to make sure they are doing everything possible to keep them safe this summer.
The RSPCA’s animal centres have planned ahead for the heatwave by following the charity’s own advice on caring for animals in hot weather.
The charity is asking owners of all pets1 - from cats and dogs to small furries, horses and farm animals - to follow hot weather advice, and is also calling on animal champions to help look out for wildlife in the hot weather too.
Included in the many important strategies the animal centres have put into place are exercising the animals only when it is cooler in the early morning or evening, ensuring there’s plenty of accessible shade throughout the day, providing cold treats such as frozen kongs, supplying paddling pools for the water-loving dogs to romp in2, making cool, muddy wallows for the pigs and keeping a very close eye out for any animals which may be struggling in the heat.
Esme Wheeler, RSPCA dog welfare specialist, said it’s vital that pet owners do everything they can to keep pets safe during this heatwave.
She said: “By following our top tips for keeping pets cools, as well as familiarising themselves with the signs of heatstroke in pets, owners will be taking effective steps to keep their pets safe this week. With just a few simple tweaks to their routine and a bit of planning ahead, they really can make a huge difference to their pet’s comfort during the hot weather, and in some cases, may well be saving their lives.”
Every summer the RSPCA receives hundreds of reports of animals suffering from heat exposure, including dogs left in hot cars, pets with heat burns on their paws from pavements, dehydrated wild animals after water supplies have dried up, grazing animals with no shade, and dogs over-exercised in the heat.
Esme added that dog owners should be particularly aware of the dangers of walking their pets during high temperatures.
“While the majority of us would never leave our dogs in a car on a hot day, or even take our dogs for a really long walk in the heat, many people may still be putting their dogs at risk even on a short walk, or by taking them to places such as fields and beaches with little or no shade, but the truth is, walking dogs in hot weather can be a silent killer,” she said.
“We have long-campaigned about the risk of dogs dying in hot cars, but this year we’re highlighting that dogs die on hot walks, too. The message remains very simple - never leave a dog in a hot car because ‘not long’ is too long, and when it comes to walks, ‘if in doubt, don’t go out’.”
For more advice about keeping animals safe in the summer heat, please visit the RSPCA’s website.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.