Although we haven’t had the hottest of Summers the GSPCA are expecting to receive calls and reports from the public from dogs locked in cars, dogs being walked on hot pavements, animals in direct sunlight, and wildlife in need and we want to remind all pet owners of the real dangers to their pets and how you can help wildlife.
With the extremely warm weather and direct sunlight, dogs and other animals whether in cars or their pens are potentially in a situation where you could kill your pet if it is left, regardless of the situation.
The GSPCA would like to remind all dog and other pet owners that they shouldn't be left in cars and those that have access to conservatories, greenhouses, and other such environments need to be aware of the risks to their animals and NOT to walk them on hot pavements.
We also want to highlight the need to support our wildlife during this continued dry and hot weather.
Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said, "The weather hasn’t been the best recently but with temperatures rising and all wanting to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine at the GSPCA we want to ensure the animals of Guernsey are safe and well cared for.”
“When we see high temperatures at the GSPCA we highlight how extremely important it is that we don’t take our dogs out in the car when shopping, as those in vehicles are at real risk with the lovely sunny warm weather.”
“If your dog is left in the car, even if parked in the shade as the sun moves could put them at a real risk of heat exhaustion which can lead to death.”
“We cannot forget the risks to our pets as the temperatures rise and especially direct sunlight on cars, vans, greenhouses and conservatories."
"We urge all pet owners to stop and think and ensure that their pet is not put at in a life-threatening situation with this lovely sunny warm weather."
"We have had welfare concerns and been out to dogs in cars in direct sunlight, greenhouses where animals are in very hot conditions, and a lot of calls and messages about dogs being walked on hot pavements.”
“When the air temperature is 25C the tarmac hits around 52c and when the air temperature is 31c it is around 62c meaning it can do real harm to your dog's feet.”
“There are some simple things to think about before walking your dog on a hot day such as using the seven-second rule to test the heat of a pavement and see if it’s safe for your dog to walk on with the back of your hand, try going for walks on cooler grass ideally in shaded areas like where it is wooded such as Talbot Valley or the Guet, walk your dog in the early morning or evening and really avoid walking in the midday sun.”
“At the GSPCA we do run Dog First Aid Courses and a Cat First Aid Course and to find out more please visit https://www.gspca.org.gg/services/training-courses .”
“We also have to think of the wildlife and it's really important to put out wildlife and food, especially wet food for hedgehogs so they don’t get dehydrated, and bowls of shallow water for the birds and other wild animals that visit your garden.”
“It is important if you see a hedgehog out during the day to give us a call for advice as it may well need help as they are rarely awake foraging during daylight hours, although mothers occasionally can be seen in the day trying to eat extra to help care for their young.”
“The easiest way to pick up a prickly hedgehog is by covering them with a towel, jumper, or coat so you don’t get spiked and then placing them into a box or container with air holes.”
“The GSPCA in St Andrews is manned 24/7 and our 24/7 emergency helpline for our Animal Ambulance is 257261. “
Lorna Chadwick GSPCA Animal Welfare Manager said "At the GSPCA we do not want to see animals' lives put in danger due to the hot weather and if anyone is concerned about a dog in a hot car or animal at risk please call us on 01481 257261."
“If anyone has any animal welfare concerns we are here to help 24/7 so if you are worried about animal care please do give us a call or pop into the GSPCA reception.”
Many of us love to enjoy the sunny warm weather but we are urging pet owners to be mindful of their animals.
Don't leave your dog alone in a car.
If it’s very warm outside and you’re going out in the car, think very carefully about what you are going to do with your dog. You should never leave a dog alone in a car.
Many Islanders will be out enjoying the sunny weather, but please ensure that your dogs aren't left in your car or other pets put at risk.
It can get unbearably hot in a car on a sunny day, even when it’s not that warm. In fact, when it’s 22°C/72°F outside like it will be today, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes.
Unlike humans, dogs pant to help keep themselves cool. In a hot stuffy car, dogs can’t cool down – leaving a window open or a sunshield on your windscreen won’t keep your car cool enough. Dogs die in hot cars.
We want to remind all islanders that in Guernsey if it can be proven that your dog is suffering you can face prosecution. You would also have to live with the fact that your thoughtless action resulted in terrible suffering for your pet.
If you see a dog in a car on a warm day please call the GSPCA on 01481 257261.
Heatstroke - early warning signs
Heatstroke can be fatal. Do everything you can to prevent it.
Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke. For example, dogs with short snouts, fatter or heavily muscled dogs, and long-haired breeds, as well as very old or very young dogs. Dogs with certain diseases are more prone to heatstroke, as are dogs on certain medications.
If dogs are unable to reduce their body temperature, they will develop heatstroke. There are some signs to look for:
a rapid pulse
very red gums/tongue
lack of coordination
reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances.
Heatstroke - first aid
If your dog shows any symptoms of heatstroke, move him/her to a shaded, cool area and ring your vet for advice immediately. Heatstroke can be fatal and should always be treated as an emergency.
Dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature gradually lowered:
Immediately douse your dog with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock – you could put your dog in a shower and run cool water over him/her, or use a spray filled with cool water and place your dog in the breeze of a fan.
Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water.
Continue to douse your dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle – never cool your dog so much that he/she begins to shiver.
Once you have cooled your dog down you should take him/her straight to the veterinary surgery, but call first to find out their current intake procedures so you can warn them you are on route
Top tips for warm weather
Your dog should always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment if he/she is feeling hot.
Never leave your dog alone in a car. If you want to take your dog with you on a car journey, make sure that your destination is dog-friendly – you won’t be able to leave your dog in the car and you don’t want your day out to be ruined!
If you have to leave your dog outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where he/she can escape from the sun at all times of the day. Please remember that the shade cover can move during the day.
Make sure your dog always has a good supply of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that can’t be knocked over. Carry water with you on hot days and give your dog frequent small amounts.
Never leave your dog in a glass conservatory or a caravan. Even if it is cloudy when you leave, the sun may come out later in the day and make it unbearably hot.
Groom your dog regularly to get rid of excess hair. Give long-coated breeds a haircut at the start of the summer, and later in the season, if necessary.
Dogs need exercise - even when it is hot. Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Never allow your dog to exercise excessively in hot weather.
Dogs can get sunburned too – particularly those with light-coloured noses or light-coloured fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.
Make an ice lolly or ice cream dog treat for your dogs to crunch and chew to cool down.
Please be mindful of the other pets in your care and where you keep them and ensure they don’t get trapped in places such as greenhouses and conservatories.
By following this advice we at the GSPCA hope you and your pets enjoy the sunny weather.