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With temperatures rising significantly over this past week local animal welfare charity the USPCA, is urging pet owners to ensure their companion is kept safe from the heat.

Colleen Tinnelly, USPCA said, “We’re very lucky to have such wonderful weather but we’re asking the public to keep their responsibilities as pet owners front and centre during this time. It is really important for them to be aware of their pets’ needs, ensuring that they have adequate shade and access to clean and cool water. It’s also vital to recognise that different breeds may feel the effects of the heat more than others.

Pets enjoy the wind in their hair but never leave them in your car in warm weather without adequate air circulation. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Pets enjoy the wind in their hair but never leave them in your car in warm weather without adequate air circulation. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

“During this time of the year we also see a lot of people travelling and enjoying staycations with their pets, but we urge them to never put them at risk by leaving them in a parked car. During the warmer weather, the interior temperature of a car can reach unbearable levels in such a short space of time. This can unfortunately result in heat stroke and potentially even death, which we have sadly seen happen in the past. Please remember, even if a window is open, you are parked in the shade, or are only going to be away for five minutes – not long is too long,” added Colleen.

If you are concerned for the wellbeing of an animal confined in a car on a warm day, please contact the Animal Welfare Department at your local council who can offer advice, help identify the owner, and ensure the animal is freed from danger.

For overall pet safety during the summer months, keep these tips in mind:

  • Pets can become dehydrated more easily on warm or humid days, so make sure they have access to fresh, clean water
  • Make sure you understand the symptoms of overheating in pets which includes; increased heart or respiratory rate, weakness, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, drooling, or an exhaustive, semi-unconscious state. If exposed to extreme heats, more severe symptoms include seizures, bloody diarrhoea, and vomiting.
  • Never leave a pet in a parked car
  • With very high temperatures, be mindful of tarmac heat as this may burn the pads of your pets’ paws – regularly cool them with water and keep walks to a minimum during peak times of the day

For further advice on this please contact the USPCA on 028 3025 1000.

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