With the temperatures set to rise dramatically all over the State, RSPCA Qld is once again urging animal owners to take precautions.
The call centre is being swamped with calls from people reporting animals suffering heat stress, with 230 reports of heat stress in cars and backyards since the beginning of the month.
“The figures since the beginning of the year are even more alarming,” said RSPCA Qld spokesperson Michael Beatty. “We’ve had 1, 126 reports of animals being left in hot cars and 2,026 of animals being left with no shelter or shade!”
“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 and the temperature rose to 57 degrees in twelve minutes. Any animal left inside would have been dead.”
Dogs left in backyards can also be in danger.
“A dog can survive for days without food, but in these temperatures, if they don’t have shade or can’t reach water they’ll die,” continued Mr Beatty. “A rope or a chain can easily become entangled in furniture or plants and that can be fatal. It’s far better to make the yard or courtyard secure and then it won’t be necessary to tether the dog in the first place. We would also recommend that there are at least two to three containers of water in case one gets knocked over.”
If you see an animal in distress, contact the RSPCA’s 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL
Top tips for animal lovers:
1. Cool Ideas
Ensure your pet has an ample supply of shelter and water and do not tether your dog in the backyard.
RSPCA Queensland’s Chief Inspector Daniel Young says, “A rope or a chain can easily become entangled in furniture or plants and that can be fatal. It’s far better to make your yard secure in the first place. We would also recommend that there are at least two to three containers of water in case one gets knocked over.”
Cooling mats and making frozen treats for your pets also helps!
2. Ouch! The Sun!
Exercising dogs in the middle of the day can be dangerous at this time of the year. Not only can they overheat very quickly, the hot bitumen can burn paw pads! The best time of day for a dog walk is sunrise and sunset.
If you have a cat or dog with light pigment, consider also using pet sunscreen!
3. Dogs Die in Hot Cars
Never leave your pet unattended in a motor vehicle or on the back of a ute! The RSPCA tested a light coloured vehicle and the temperature rose to 47 degrees in 12 minutes. If you added a panting dog to the equation and they would have been dead.
4. Dogs Breeds Susceptible to Heatstroke
Flat faced dogs (Brachycephalic breeds) have shortened airways which reduces the effectiveness of panting. The weather does not even have to be particularly hot for these breeds to develop symptoms of heat stress. Find out what to do if your pet appears to be suffering from heatstroke.
5. Don’t forget the natives!
Leave out extra containers of water to help our native wildlife keep cool.
If you see an animal in distress, contact the RSPCA’s 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL.
You can find more tips about keeping animals cool during the heatwave here.