The RSPCA and Wyndham City urge pet owners not to leave their animal in locked vehicles or on the back of a utility without adequate shade, shelter and water. Animals left in these conditions can quickly suffer from severe dehydration and heat exhaustion.
If you know that you will most likely be away from your pet, it is much better to leave an animal at home where they are comfortable and have access to water.
- If your cats or dogs are outside ensure there is plenty of fresh clean water available to them. Put extra buckets or bowls out on those especially hot days in case they spill or knock them over. If possible, have your pets inside on extreme hot days. If not, make sure they have plenty of shady places out of direct sunlight to seek refuge during the heat. Cats feel the heat the same as dogs.
- Don’t forget your pocket pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, birds etc. They feel the heat a little more than larger pets so these animals should be inside during hot day and make sure their cages are not near a window in direct sunlight.
- Walk your dog in the cool of the day especially on very hot days. Remember, if the pavement is too hot it could easily burn your dog’s pad causing serious injury.
- Do not leave your dog in a vehicle. As the same with children, dogs can overheat in a matter of minutes causing irreversible brain damage or in extreme cases death.
- Some warning signs of heat stress in animals include excessive panting and drooling, vomiting, collapse, shaking and feeling hot to touch. If you believe your pet may be suffering heat stress it is important to contact a vet and try to cool the animal down.
- A water bowl placed under a tree or bush somewhere can also provide a haven for small wildlife animals such as birds.