Submitted by Steve on 09:27, 21st Jun, 2017 | 0

With another roasting day ahead of us the GSPCA want to ensure all pet owners take care of their animals.

The GSPCA during hot weather always receive reports from concerned members of the public that have seen dogs locked in cars and other animals in glass houses.

The last month has been no different with dogs being reported in cars to pigs in greenhouses.

With the warm weather and direct sunlight, dogs in cars are potentially in a situation where you could kill your pet if it is left, regardless of the situation.

The GSPCA would like to remind all dog and indeed all owners with pets that they shouldn't be left in cars and those that have access to conservatories, green houses and other such environments need to be aware of the risks to their animals.

Another major issue is with the high temperatures walking and exercising your dog in the current heat can cause heat exhaustion and and damage to their paws with the hot surfaces due to the rising surface temperature due to the direct heat.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said "It's been fantastic with all this lovely weather but we still receive calls and reports of animals that are having their lives put at risk that are left in cars and glass houses."

"Only a few weeks ago we at the GSPCA put a message out with Guernsey Police about the dangers to animals in hot weather, but we are still going out to animals in distress."

"We urge all pet owners to stop and think and ensure that their pet is not put at in a life threatening situation."

"Please avoid taking your dog out during the hot parts of the day so ideal dawn and dusk and think of making them some cool food treats such as freezing some of their food with a few snack."

"We were shoes and often flip flops or sandals but in this heat dogs sensitive paws can be damaged so please think before taking your dog out in this heat."

Lorna Prince Welfare Manager said "At the GSPCA we do not want to see animals lives put in danger due to the hot weather and if anyone is concerned about a dog in a hot car or animal at risk please call us on 01481 257261."

Many of us love to enjoy the sunny warm weather but we are urging pet owners to be mindful of their animals.

Don't leave your dog alone in a car.

If it’s very warm outside and you’re going out in the car, think very carefully about what you are going to do with your dog. You should never leave a dog alone in a car.

Many Islanders will be flocking to the beaches over the weekend and and many more to the events held around Guernsey, but please ensure that your dogs aren't left in your car or other pets put at risk.

It can get unbearably hot in a car on a sunny day, even when it’s not that warm. In fact, when it’s 22°C/72°F outside like it will be today, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes.

Unlike humans, dogs pant to help keep themselves cool. In a hot stuffy car, dogs can’t cool down – leaving a window open or a sunshield on your windscreen won’t keep your car cool enough. Dogs die in hot cars.

Even with current legislation in Guernsey if it can be proven that your dog is suffering you can face prosecution. You would also have to live with the fact that your thoughtless action resulted in terrible suffering for your pet.

If you see a dog in a car on a warm day please call the GSPCA on 01481 257261.

Heatstroke - early warning signs

Heatstroke can be fatal. Do everything you can to prevent it.
Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke. For example, dogs with short snouts, fatter or heavily muscled dogs and long-haired breeds, as well as very old or very young dogs. Dogs with certain diseases are more prone to heatstroke, as are dogs on certain medication.

If dogs are unable to reduce their body temperature, they will develop heatstroke. There are some signs to look for:

  • heavy panting
  • profuse salivation 
  • a rapid pulse
  • very red gums/tongue 
  • lethargy
  • lack of coordination 
  • reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
  • vomiting 
  • diarrhoea
  • loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances.

Heatstroke - first aid

If your dog shows any symptoms of heatstroke, move him/her to a shaded, cool area and ring your vet for advice immediately. Heatstroke can be fatal and should always be treated as an emergency.

Dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature gradually lowered:

  • Immediately douse your dog with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock – you could put your dog in a shower and run cool water over him/her, or use a spray filled with cool water and place your dog in the breeze of a fan. 
  • Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water.
  • Continue to douse your dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle – never cool your dog so much that he/she begins to shiver.

Once you have cooled your dog down you should take him/her straight to the veterinary surgery.

Top tips for warm weather

  • Your dog should always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment if he/she is feeling hot.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a car. If you want to take your dog with you on a car journey, make sure that your destination is dog-friendly – you won’t be able to leave your dog in the car and you don’t want your day out to be ruined!
  • If you have to leave your dog outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where he/she can escape from the sun at all times of the day.  Please remember that shade cover can move during the day.
  • Make sure your dog always has a good supply of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that can’t be knocked over. Carry water with you on hot days and give your dog frequent small amounts.
  • Never leave your dog in a glass conservatory or a caravan. Even if it is cloudy when you leave, the sun may come out later in the day and make it unbearably hot.
  • Groom your dog regularly to get rid of excess hair. Give long-coated breeds a haircut at the start of the summer, and later in the season, if necessary.
  • Dogs need exercise - even when it is hot. Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Never allow your dog to exercise excessively in hot weather.
  • Dogs can get sunburned too – particularly those with light-coloured noses or light-coloured fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.
  • Make an ice lolly or ice cream dog treat for your dogs to crunch and chew to cool down.

Please be mindful of the other pets in your care and where you keep them and ensure they don’t get trapped in places such as greenhouses and conservatories. 

By following this advice we at the GSPCA hope you and your pets enjoy the sunny weather.

Here is a link to one of many sites where you can find out how to make Doggy Ice Cream but please remember to ensure your dog has an appropriate and balanced diet - please click here for details .

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