The UK is gripped by a long awaited summer heatwave this week, bringing soaring temperatures across Andover & the villages.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have released some advice for the public to safeguard their pets in the heat.
Keep dogs indoors. Unlike humans, dogs can cool themselves only by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress or permanent physical harm and even be fatal.
Provide water and shade. If animals must be left outside, they should be given ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.
Walk, don’t run. In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling and making them run alongside the bike or by taking them running with you. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. A dog trapped inside a parked car can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even when the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight. On a 26-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 32 degrees, and the inside of a vehicle parked in the sun can reach 70 degrees. If you see a dog in a car and in distress, take down the car’s colour, model, make and registration number; try to locate the owner if possible and call local animal authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog. If police are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back your assessment of the situation, take steps to remove the suffering animal and then wait for authorities to arrive. A dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke – such as restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy or lack of coordination – should be taken to a shady spot immediately. Stabilise the dog’s temperature by providing water and applying a cold towel to the animal’s head and chest or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then take the animal to a veterinarian.
If you have any further questions, please visit PETA.org.uk.