Pets need help from the high summer temperatures too

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Don't forget pets need help in hot weatherWith summer now well and truly upon us, high temperature warnings have been issued for the next few days. However, it’s not just humans that suffer in this weather.

Animals and birds suffer too, so please remember to leave out water for all your pets, not forgetting the strays on the streets that also need to find somewhere to drink and get some shade.

Last year, an educational campaign – Dogs Die in Hot Cars – was launched aimed at raising awareness about the suffering experienced by dogs left in the car, especially in summer and in particular when travelling between the islands, when you have your pet in the car with you.

High summer temperatures continue to rise at a fast rate in a closed car, left in a closed car, a dog is affected by the rise in temperature much more than humans, and in 15 minutes a dog can suffer heatstroke which can be fatal.

Through this campaign members of the public are being advised to ring 1717 if they see a dog in distress in a closed car.

Anybody who is travelling with animals between the islands during these next few days should take the following precautions as advised by the Gozo SPCA:

“Try to make the ferry journey in the cool of the early morning or late evening, but definitely avoid the hottest hours in the middle of the day.

Dogs should not be left in the ferry vehicle parking areas during the crossing and should never be left unattended in a car at any time, but especially during summer.

Provide companion animals with fresh cool water to drink; it is important it is neither chilled, nor hot from the sun. Whilst waiting, keep side windows open and use screens on the front and rear windows.

Other advice includes; owners should not walk their dogs on tarmac in the heat of the day – if they try walking on it with bare feet themselves they will understand how hot tarmac burns a dog’s feet, even after only a few seconds.

Owners should carry a wet towel in a cool bag to wrap around their pet if it becomes distressed and starts panting.

Heatstroke can be a life-threatening condition and should be treated seriously. If a dog or cat shows signs of heat stroke (excessive panting or breathing difficulties) the owner should seek veterinary advice at once; immediate action may save the pet’s life.”

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