RSPCA Queensland is already experiencing higher than normal reports of heat stress in dogs and sadly one has recently died. A bull terrier had been tied up in a backyard and became tangled. Our Inspectorate was quick to attend the scene but the dog was in severe distress and despite our Inspector cooling the dog and performing CPR, it was too late.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. In the past two weeks a number of dogs have been found tethered in full sun and showing signs of distress. "In these temperatures, if they don’t have shade or can’t reach water they’ll die,” RSPCA Qld’s Chief Inspector Daniel Young. “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." For tips on keeping your pets cool as temperatures rise.

Despite all the warnings people are still leaving animals in the car or on the back of utes.

“People simply have to be aware of the dangers. 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.”

Exercising dogs in the middle of the day can also be dangerous at this time of the year. They tend to overheat very quickly and once their temperature rises above forty degrees they can die.

“If a dog is suffering from heat stress it’s imperative to get their temperature down as quickly as possible. Hose them down with water and better still, place ice packs on their head and stomach. It’s no good rushing them to the vet in a hot car because the chances are their temperature will continue to rise. Try to cool them down first.” Find out more about heat stroke in pets and what to do here.

Find out what to do when you find a pet left unattended in a car or on a ute. Call our 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) hotline for further assistance.