While people do whatever it takes to protect themselves from theheat, the SPCA has urged pet owners to ensure the well-being of animals. Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)
THE SPCA yesterday expressed concern about the health and wellbeing of animals during the heatwave.

The organisation said the heatwave not only affected humans, but was also dangerous for animals.

Meteorologists have predicted that the heatwave will continue for the rest of the week.

In this regard, the SPCA appealed to the public to take care of animals during this time.

National spokesperson Meg Wilson said that when temperatures spiked and the heatwave persisted, the well-being of animals should not be overlooked.

Wilson said shade and access to water were important as the heat could cause dehydration heatstroke and sunburn in animals.

She advised dog owners to strictly avoid exercising their dogs in the heat. They should also be aware that the heat on tarred roads or hot pavements could damage paws.

“Rather wait until temperatures drop towards the end of the day or take a break from exercising your animals while temperatures soar.”

She said people often assumed wrongly that if a rabbit had a hutch, it has adequate shade. “In heatwave conditions it is preferable to move the hutch indoors.

“To state the obvious, the sun moves. Any confined outdoor animals need to be placed where they will be out of the sun all day,” she said.

“The public is asked to take all necessary precautions regarding their own animals to ensure their well-being during the hot spell, but also to be alert to issues arising affecting other animals.”

The Tshwane Emergency Services said they were on high alert for anything that needed attention during the heatwave.

Spokesperson Johan Pieterse said although they had not received any calls as yet from residents, they were on standby to attend to any emergencies.

According to experts a heatwave can pose a threat to people’s health, resulting in dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion or fatal heatstroke.