|Pet-owners are being reminded to take extra care in looking after their pets as the temperature rises this summer.|
Animal control officers at Basildon Council received several calls over the weekend regarding dogs left in hot cars. Officers are now asking pet owners to think twice about exposing pets to the hot temperatures and consider the following tips:
• Never leave animals in conservatories, caravans, motor homes or cars, as temperatures can soar within minutes and your pets can suffer from heatstroke. Even if the temperature outside is in the low 20 degrees and windows are wound down, temperatures can still reach dangerous levels. Irreversible damage can be caused in as little as 15 minutes to your dog in a hot car
• Never leave pets in direct sunlight. Make sure they have a cool shady area to go at all times.
• Make sure your animals have a supply of plenty of clean fresh water available all day.
• Don’t exercise your dog during the hottest times of the day. Walk them in the morning and in the evening and take water for your dog with you.
• Animals can suffer from sunburn, especially those particularly light in colour or have exposed areas of skin. Do not use sunscreens designed for humans, speak to your vet about safe sunscreen for your pet.
• If you are planning a day out and it is likely to be hot, consider leaving your dog in safe hands so that they are not in the hot weather all day. Many boarding kennels offer ‘Doggie Day-care’ or you can have dog walker come in to tend to your pet.
• Never leave any children alone with a dog, especially when the temperatures rise. Dogs can become aggressive when they are hot. If your dog becomes a danger to people or actually bites someone, you may face prosecution.
• Extra care should be taken with dogs with shorter noses (such as pugs, bull dogs and shar-peis) as they are more likely to suffer from heatstroke as they cannot regulate their body temperature.
Councillor Richard Moore, cabinet member with responsibility for animal control, said: “It can be easy to become wrapped up in the enjoyment of the warm weather, but pet owners should consider their animal’s welfare before taking them on long days out or leaving them in the car.
“All animal owners should seriously consider the advice issued by the animal control team to ensure that their pet is not suffering in the warm weather.
“Under the Animal Welfare Act, owners could be prosecuted and face a six month custodial sentence or a fine of up to £20,000 if they fail to meet the needs of their animal and allow them to suffer unnecessarily.”
If you believe your pet may be suffering from heatstroke, do not hesitate in taking your pet to a vet.
For more information on caring for your pets during hot weather, visit www.basildon.gov.uk/caninecare
PHOTO: Animal control officer, Sarah Moran, with Paddy