Opinion Former Article

RSPCA: Don’t forget your pets during a weekend of sunshine and sport


RSPCA reminds pet owners of the dangers of heatstroke

The RSPCA is urging pet owners not to forget their animals during what promises to be a memorable weekend of sport in the summer sunshine.

Many people will be celebrating the Olympics and making the most of the warm weather. But with so many distractions on offer, there is a danger that pets will be forgotten and could suffer during the hot weather.

David Bowles, the RSPCA’s director of communications, said: “Like most people, I’ve been absolutely gripped by the Olympics during the past two weeks and I will be watching the last few days of what has been a fantastic event.

“The added bonus of some sunshine will make it a real weekend to remember, but hopefully for all the right reasons. With so many distractions it would be easy to forget just how quickly our pets can start to suffer in the warm weather, so please don’t be caught out.

“Make sure your pets can enjoy the celebrations from a shady spot where they can shelter from the sun. Never make the mistake of thinking leaving a bowl of water out or opening a window is enough to protect your animal from the potentially fatal effects of heatstroke.”

Despite a fairly mixed summer, the RSPCA’s national control centre still received 1,399 calls about animals in distress because of the warm weather in July. But, with temperatures set to soar to 27 degrees Celsius in some parts of England and Wales, we are expecting even plenty more this weekend.

“Every year we warn people not to leave their pets in hot cars, but every year we still get calls about animals in distress. Make sure you don’t have to make that call this weekend,” added David.

The most obvious signs of heatstroke in dogs are heavy panting, lack of co-ordination and a reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing.

Other signs include overly red or purple gums, a rapid pulse, seizures, vomiting or diarrhoea.

It is worth remembering that dogs aren’t the only animals that can be affected by the hot weather. Other pets should be given plenty of shelter and shade to prevent them from suffering.

If you think your animal is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cooler spot straight away before ringing your vet immediately for advice. Heat stroke can result in coma or death in extreme instances.


Notes to editors

Key points:

·         All dogs will suffer, but some dogs are more prone to heatstroke. For example, dogs that are old, young, short nosed, long haired, overweight or heavily muscled are more at risk, as well as dogs with certain diseases.

·         Cloud cover can disappear quickly.

·         Temperatures in air conditioned cars can reach the same temperature as outside within just five minutes of the air conditioning being turned off.


RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288  Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825
Email: press@rspca.org.uk  Website: www.rspca.org.uk

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