RSPCA issue 'silent killer' warning to all dog owners this weekend

11 July 2022, 10:26

Dogs could be in danger this weekend
Dogs could be in danger this weekend. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Pet specialists have issued an urgent warning about the hot weather this week.

Things are set to get even warmer this weekend, with experts warning temperatures could even reach 43C by Sunday.

And now dog owners are being warned to keep a close eye on their pets to make sure they are comfortable and happy in the heat, especially when it comes to going out for a walk.

RSPCA dog welfare specialist, Esme Wheeler said: "The truth is walking dogs in hot weather can be a silent killer.

"While the majority would never leave our dogs in a car on a hot day, or even take our dogs for a really long walk in the heat, many people may still be putting their dogs at risk even on a short walk, or taking them to places such as fields and beaches with little or no shade.

The RSPCA has revealed how to keep your dog safe in the heat
The RSPCA has revealed how to keep your dog safe in the heat. Picture: Getty Images

"We have long-campaigned that dogs die in hot cars, but this year we’re highlighting that dogs die on hot walks, too. The message remains very simple – never leave a dog in a hot car because ‘not long’ is too long, and when it comes to walks, 'if in doubt, don’t go out.'"

The RSPCA have also given some other tips to keep your furry friends safe during the hot weather.

For example, they warn owners to never leave dogs in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans on a warm day, even if only for a short while.

You can also use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet's skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn, as well as ensuring they always have access to shade.

Your dog might appreciate a paddling pool
Your dog might appreciate a paddling pool. Picture: Alamy

Other advice includes putting ice cubes into your dog's water bowl, giving them damp towels to lie on or even getting them a paddling pool.

There are also some signs to look out for if your pet is suffering in the sun.

For example, make sure you check whether the pavement is too hot for your dog’s pads by putting your hand on it for five seconds.

If your pet has burnt pads, they might be limping or refusing to walk, as well as licking or chewing at the feet.

It’s also important to look out for signs of heatstroke which could include heavy panting and difficulty breathing, excessively drooling or if the dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated.

If you suspect your dog has the signs of heat stroke, the RSPCA has put together a list of emergency actions to take here.

Find out more about keeping your dog safe in the heat here.