The recent soaring of temperatures has prompted warnings to pet owners about the dangers of heat stress.

Temperatures are soaring, heat records are being broken and everyone is feeling it – especially your pets.

Here are a few reminders for owners to help ensure your pet is kept cool and happy during the warmer months:

Pets in Cars

“People simply have to be aware of the dangers,” says RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty. “If it’s thirty degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can potentially rise to well over forty degrees in less than five minutes. We tested a light coloured sedan last year and the temperature rose to 57 degrees in twelve minutes. Any animal left inside would have been dead.”

Pets in the Backyard

“If a dog is tethered they can become tangled and be unable to reach their water or shelter,” says Beatty. “We would recommend that there are at least two to three containers of water in case one gets knocked over. A dog can survive for a few days without food, but in this weather, if it has no shade or water it will die.”

Pet Exercise

Exercising dogs in the middle of the day can also be dangerous at this time of the year. They tend to overheat very quickly and once their temperature rises above forty degrees they can die. Aim for the cooler times at the beginning and end of the day and find a quick way to cool your dog down afterwards, such as a pool or hosing them down.

Some signs of heat stroke:
  • Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
  • Tongue and gums appear bright red
  • Sticky or dry tongue and gums
  • Vomiting
  • Unsteadiness or staggering
  • Diarrhea
What to do if your pet is suffering heat stress:

“If a dog is suffering from heat stress it’s imperative to get its temperature down as quickly as possible,” warns Beatty. “Hose them down with water and better still place ice packs on their head and stomach. It’s no good rushing them to the vet in a hot car because the chances are their temperature will continue to rise. Try to cool them down first.”