Summer pet care pointers


Caring for your pooch: It only takes six minutes locked in a car for animals such as these lovable Staffie-cross-mastiffs Bentley and Folly to suffer heat stress.

Caring for your pooch: It only takes six minutes locked in a car for animals such as these lovable Staffie-cross-mastiffs Bentley and Folly to suffer heat stress.

STUCK in a car with the windows wound up as the temperature gradually increases with no way of getting out.

With summer fast approaching, it's the situation many animals find themselves in according to RSPCA manager Kerry Swift-McNair.

"It only takes six minutes for dogs to start to suffer from heat stress and become at risk of dying. We've already received calls from dogs left in hot cars," she said.

"Dogs can't sweat and can only pant for so long to keep themselves cool in 60-80 degree cars so if you're going out shopping, leave the dog at home."

Another way to keep a pet as cool as possible was to freeze a small water bottle and drop it in the water or put it on the ground if you had a cat, a guinea pig or a rabbit.

Mrs Swift-McNair also encouraged owners to clip dogs who were long-haired.

"Dogs such as huskies and long-haired retrievers feel the heat a bit more than others, so make sure you give them a clip during summer months."

Mrs Swift-McNair said if people saw dogs locked in hot cars they should call police who would then get in contact with the RSPCA.

"Don't call us first because we can't break into cars," she said.

"Ring the police and they will give us a call and we'll meet them there."

When at home owners should ensure there are two water sources located around the backyard in case one was knocked over and to also provide shade and shelter.

"Afternoon storms can also be stressful for pets, so make sure they can get in and out. Thunder and lightning are the main causes of dogs getting scared, running out onto the street and being run over," Mrs Swift-McNair said.

paul.jobber@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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