Summer is well and truly here and RSPCA Queensland is reminding pet owners to plan ahead and ensure their pets have plenty of fresh water and shelter available during the forecast heatwave. 

Top tips for animal lovers:

1. Cool Ideas
Ensure your pet has an ample supply of shelter and water and do not tether your dog in the backyard. 

RSPCA Queensland’s Chief Inspector Daniel Young says, “A rope or a chain can easily become entangled in furniture or plants and that can be fatal. It’s far better to make your yard secure 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.” 

Cooling mats and making frozen treats for your pets also helps! 

2. Ouch! The Sun!
Exercising dogs in the middle of the day can be dangerous at this time of the year. Not only can they overheat very quickly, the hot bitumen can burn paw pads!  The best time of day for a dog walk is sunrise and sunset. 

If you have a cat or dog with light pigment, consider also using pet sunscreen!

3. Dogs Die in Hot Cars
Never leave your pet unattended in a motor vehicle or on the back of a ute! The RSPCA tested a light coloured vehicle this week and the temperature rose to 47 degrees in 12 minutes. If you added a panting dog to the equation and they would have been dead.

4. Dogs Breeds Susceptible to Heatstroke 
Flat faced dogs (Brachycephalic breeds) have shortened airways which reduces the effectiveness of panting. The weather does not even have to be particularly hot for these breeds to develop symptoms of heat stress. Find out what to do if your pet appears to be suffering from heatstroke.

5. Don’t forget the natives!
Leave out extra containers of water to help our native wildlife keep cool.

If you see an animal in distress, contact the RSPCA’s 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL.

You can find more tips about keeping animals cool during the heatwave here.