Warning for pet owners as heatwave grips many parts of Queensland.

Unless owners take the necessary precautions, pets can rapidly suffer from heat stroke and
even die on very hot days.

With the heatwave gripping many parts of Queensland, bringing 30-degree temperatures to parts of
southeast Queensland by the weekend, Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) is urging pet
owners to ensure their animals have somewhere cool to retreat to.

AWLQ Spokesperson, Craig Montgomery, warns that unless owners take the necessary precautions,
pets can rapidly suffer from heat stroke and even die on sweltering days.

“Pets more likely to suffer in the heat include breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, greyhounds and exotic
shorthairs (cats), and any with especially thick coats.

“It is also important to remember that dark-haired cats and dogs will absorb more heat through their
fur and that light-haired dogs are more susceptible to sunburn,” said Mr Montgomery.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, a low-intensity heatwave is expected across the Gold Coast
for the next few days. Daytime temperatures are expected to be about four degrees above average
for much of the south-east, pushing temperatures into the mid-30s.

“There are several things owners can do to protect their pets. These tips are vital for owners of older
pets, pets with thick coats and short noses, or pets adapted to cooler climates.
“One of the most important things to remember is never to leave them in a hot place from which
they cannot leave. So, never leave them locked in a room without air-conditioning or a car. Animals
should not be locked in cars no matter the weather,” Mr Montgomery said.

Tips for keeping your pet safe on hot days:
• Never leave your animals in a vehicle – even with the windows open. A parked car is like an
oven; temperatures can reach extreme levels quickly, leading to fatal heat stroke.

• Pets dehydrate quickly – have plenty of fresh, clean water available. Also, make sure your
pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep
them indoors when it’s scorching.

• Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, including excessive panting or difficulty
breathing, drooling, mild weakness, vomiting, or even collapse. Animals with flat faces, like
Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke.

• If you can’t be home, seek alternative arrangements – ask your neighbour or a family
member to mind your pet. If your pet is home alone, leaving the air-conditioning or fans on
in the house will help keep pets cool.

• Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool or at the beach – not all dogs are good
swimmers. Instead, gradually introduce your pets to water, and ensure they wear flotation
devices when on boats.

• Don’t let your pets linger on hot pavements – when the temperature is very high and is so
close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly. In addition, their sensitive paw
pads can burn, so keep dog walks during these times to a minimum.

Consult your veterinarian immediately if you are concerned about your pet’s well-being. To report
wildlife in distress, contact 1300 264 625.


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