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RSB issues hot weather advice to pet owners

With temperatures soaring across South Australia this week, the Royal Society for the Blind has issued a timely reminder to take extra care of our four-legged friends while the heat is on.

“It may seem like common sense to protect your dog from the heat, but dog owners need to remain extra vigilant as the mercury rises”, says RSB Marketing & Fundraising Manager, Darrin Johnson.

According to RSB Guide & Assistance Dog Service Manager, Lindy Hennekam, it’s important to remember some basic tips to keeping your dog as comfortable as possible on hot days.

“Make sure your dog has a constant supply of fresh water, a shaded area to sit in and don’t leave your dog in the car on its own. “It takes just six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car,” she says.

Below, Lindy lists the RSB’s top six tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer - 

The RSB’s six tips for keeping dogs cool during a heatwave.

  1. If possible, keep them inside an air-conditioned house. 
    If you're feeling warm, chances are your pets are too. Bring your pets indoors on hot, humid days if the indoor environment is cooler for the animal. Provide them with a cool, shaded area with good ventilation at all times. This is important as many animals cool down via evaporative cooling (panting) which requires adequate air flow
  2. Never leave your dog in a parked car. 
    It takes only minutes for an animal to suffer an agonising death if left in a hot car. Even when the windows are down dogs can still overheat and die. If you see an animal locked in a hot car, call 000 immediately.
  3. Ensure they have access to water at all times. 
    Provide plenty of fresh, cool water in large water containers and make sure there are numerous sources of water in case one is spilt. Place the containers in the shade and add some ice to the water to keep it cool.
  4. Avoid walking your dog in temperatures over 32C. 
    Walking your dog when the ground is too hot can cause serious damage to their paws. Be aware of hot pavement and, where possible, stick to lawn and shaded areas. If you walk your dog early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the temperature is lower, remember the pavement retains a lot of heat. Press your hand to the pavement for five seconds. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog’s paws.
  5. Freeze dog food in water for a cool treat. 
    Freezing dog food in water for a tasty ‘pup-sicle’ treat may not be your choice of the ‘perfect’ way to cool down this summer, but your dog will love you for it!
  6. Allow them to cool off in a paddle pool. 
    Place a clam shell pool in the shade and fill it with water so your dog can wade in the water to keep cool. If your pet's share your yard with children, remember to have all necessary precautions in place, including fencing, in order to keep children safe.