Heatwave puts pets at risk

The UK has been hit by a heatwave. A ballboy at Wimbledon made the news after collapsing in soaring temperatures. Wednesday reached 36.7C and was named the hottest July day on record.

As humans slap on the sun cream, animal welfare organisations urge us to protect pets from the scorching weather. At this time of year, dehydration and even fatal heatstroke are very real concerns for animals.

Sally Stevens, director of communications at Wood Green, The Animals Charity, said: ‘We hear time and again about people who’ve just ‘popped into the supermarket for half an hour’or run a few errands while leaving a dog inside a car. They can think the animal will be perfectly fine, but in fact, the heat inside a car could be pushing 35 to 40 degrees, even when it’s only half that outside.’

Ms Stevens urged owners to consider their routine more carefully when travelling with a dog, and at the same time called on non-dog-owners to be vigilant of pets shut in vehicles.

She added: ‘I’d also urge everyone out and about over the summer to be conscious of this message and brave enough to report cases of dogs shut in hot cars.

‘By alerting the police, they could help prevent the serious harm to, or death of, an animal.’

The PDSA has also encouraged people around the country to keep an eye on pets throughout the warmer weather. In a statement published by the organisation, PDSA senior vet Elaine Pendlebury said: “Always consider that if you are feeling hot, thirsty and in need of shade, then your four-legged friend is likely to be too.”

To view the PDSA’s top ten tips for protecting animals during a heatwave click here.

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