‘NEVER leave a dog in a car on a hot day, even when the windows are open, as within minutes, they can suffer from heatstroke – which could be fatal’.
These are the strong – and clear – warning words of Janice Porter, chairperson of Grovehill Animal Trust who is this week speaking out about the potentially-disastrous impacts that hot weather can have on our much-loved dogs.
Catching up with the Ulster Herald, the Omagh woman pointed out that it is important to be mindful of our four-legged friends in warm temperatures, as ‘they don’t sweat like humans do – and therefore, can’t cool down as easily’.
Advice for pet owners
“Recently, we have all been enjoying blue skies and beautiful sunshine,” Janice said. “And while it is tempting to head out for a long walk on a hot sunny day, this carries risks for your dog: Hot tarmac and footpaths can cause painful burns to a dog’s paws, for example.
“It’s best to walk them early in the morning and later in the evenings, when it’s cooler and safer.”
She added, “Most dogs will enjoy splashing about in a paddling pool, and cooling mats can also be purchased at our local pet shops.
“Never, ever, leave a dog in a car on a hot day.”
Janice further advised owners to ensure their animals are micro-chipped.
“As we all tend to be out-and-about more during the summer months, it’s also a good time to check our pets are micro-chipped in case they should wander off,” she said. “A safety collar with a contact number on it is also a good idea.
“And finally, ensure all pets have access to fresh, clean water, which is refreshed regularly, and a shady place to take shelter in.
“With a little bit of extra care, we can all – both humans and pets alike – enjoy this beautiful weather.”
If you have any concerns that your dog might be suffering from heatstroke, please contact your vet immediately. Early signs of heatstroke in dogs and cats include: Panting heavily; appearing to be upset or distressed; dribbling more than usual; and foaming at the mouth. More advanced signs include bright red gums; collapsingl blood coming from their mouth or nose; tremors; and seizures.