NSPCA urges dog owners never to leave a dog alone in a vehicle as the mercury peaks
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DURBAN – As KZN experiences extremely hot and humid weather conditions today along the coast and adjacent interior, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has advised the public never to leave a dog alone in a hot vehicle.
“Parked cars become death traps for dogs. Without proper ventilation, temperatures soon soar in a locked car.
“Dogs pant to keep cool and quickly overheat in hot cars when there is no free flow of air. Leaving windows slightly open will not keep your car cool enough,” it said.
The NSPCA said heatstroke can be fatal and develops when dogs are unable to reduce their core body temperature.
Symptoms include heavy panting, profuse salivation, rapid pulse, lack of co-ordination, collapse and loss of consciousness.
It is recommended that the dog undergo a veterinarian evaluation if he/she shows signs of heatstroke, said the NSPCA.
What to do if you see a distressed dog:
- Take down the car make, colour and registration number and attempt to locate the owner of the vehicle.
- Contact your local SPCA or SA Police Services immediately.
- Don’t leave the scene until the situation is resolved.
The Durban SPCA, on its Facebook page, said that at home, owners or caregivers should ensure there is always shade for animals and bowls of water are in shady places.
The SPCA said more than one bowl of water should be provided in case one gets knocked over or is lapped up quickly.
Other tips include:
- Don’t leave your dog shut up in a garage or shed.
- Don’t walk your dog on hot cement, sand or tar.
- Prevent sunburn to dogs with white coats and white, non- pigmented skin.
- Do not chain a dog up in the sun.
- Small pets like birds, guinea pigs, mice and rats, and rabbits are often confined permanently to cages (which is not acceptable) and are not able to move to a shady place. If your pet spends any time at all in a cage, make sure that the cage is moved to a cool, well-ventilated area during hot weather and that cool water is always available.
- Short-nosed and flat-faced animals find it more difficult to keep themselves cool in hot weather.
“If you are aware of a dog being kept on a chain, please notify us by calling 031 579 6501. You may remain anonymous. Never make yourself complicit by remaining silent. Helpless animals rely on humans who care,” said the SPCA.