By Paul Gibson
When the weather heats up and after a year of lockdowns and restrictions, it’s inevitable that many of us will desperately want to get out and explore the great outdoors with our four-legged friends.
Unfortunately, not all places are dog friendly and sometimes owners choose to leave their dogs in the car while they go to a store, for example.
Many owners still believe this is fine as they may have left the windows open or parked in the shade, but in truth it is still a very dangerous situation for the dog. A car can get as hot as an oven very quickly.
Even when dogs are walking or sitting in the sun, dogs cannot endure the same temperatures as us and unfortunately, even in 2021, we still hear of dogs dying from heat stroke, either in hot cars or extreme walks in hot weather.
The national RSPCA, as well as many veterinary practices and other dog charities, urge dog owners not to leave their beloved dogs in the car or take them for walks in the heat.
You may have heard the slogans currently circulating on social media like “A dog won’t die if he missed a walk” and “Dogs die in hot cars,” but unfortunately, many dogs have already lost their lives to heat stroke and there is much more knowledge / awareness out there about the dangers of heat stroke, the national RSPCA and the like are still getting a lot of calls to let us know about more dogs left in cars or outside in hot weather.
If dogs are too hot and unable to lower their body temperature by panting, they will develop heat stroke. Some types of dogs are more prone to heat stroke, such as very old and young dogs, dogs with thick, thick coats, or dogs with very short flat faces like pugs and bulldogs.
Dogs with certain diseases or on certain medications are also more at risk, but any dog can die from heat stroke.
Signs of heat stroke are: Heavy panting, excessive drooling, dog appears lethargic, sleepy, or uncoordinated; the dog may collapse or begin to vomit.
In order to have the best chance of survival, dogs suffering from heat stroke urgently need to gradually lower their body temperature. First they need to be moved to a shady and cool place; You can pour cold water over the dog, but make sure it isn’t too cold as this can cause shock.
If possible, you can use wet towels or put them in the breeze of a fan and finally the dog should be offered small amounts of cool water to drink. As soon as the dog has cooled down, it must urgently be taken to the nearest veterinarian.
Often unknown to the public, but in an emergency, such as a dog locked in a hot car, you should call the police 999, not the National RSPCA.
RSPCA inspectors and officers may not be there quickly enough, and without a permit they would need police assistance in such an incident. The national RSPCA urges people not to be afraid if they choose the 999. The police will notify the national RSPCA if animal welfare assistance is required.
Also, a new fear that arose during lockdown is that not only is your dog’s health at stake if you leave him in a car, but also that he can be stolen.
This year, the national RSPCA has seen a surge in searches for “puppies near me” as the demand for furry companions has skyrocketed, leading to huge price hikes.
With huge profits, it means unscrupulous people are trying to profit by illegal means. With animal thefts on the rise this year, owners need to be vigilant and extra careful when out and about with their dogs and where they will be left behind.
It can only take a few minutes for an opportunist to reach your four-legged friend; but it would rather stay with you forever!
Fortunately, we are now planning our next summer event, which will be our One Fun Day.
This will take place on September 5, 2021 here at the Animal Center, New Cut Lane, PR8 3DW.
We are very much looking forward to this event and welcome everyone back to the center. The West Lancs exhibition team will join us and have a wonderful performance, we will also have our annual Fun Dog Show for all furry guests and there will be many stalls with all sorts of items for sale including food and drink.
If you are a booth owner and would like to take part on that day, please email us at Paul Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org with a small description of what you would like to sell that day and we will be in touch Us to let you know what space we still have. All table plots cost € 20 each.
We hope that many of you will come to us as booth owners or guests, because it will be great fun all day.
RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk & District Branch is located in New Cut Lane, Southport, Merseyside.