Bluebell playing in her pool
A local animal charity is warning of the risks to your pets as Dorset experiences the hottest temperatures of the year so far.
Margaret Green Animal Rescue have put together their top five tips for keeping your animals happy on warmer days.
Helen Chittock, manager at the Margaret Green Animal Rescue centre near Bere Regis explains: “Whilst you enjoy the summery weather this week, spare a thought for your pets who may not enjoy the heat quite as much. However, there is plenty that you can do to keep them comfortable.”
1. Always make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water. Ensure their bowl is filled to the brim and kept topped up. If your dog has been playing in the sea, make sure he or she has access to fresh drinking water as ingested salt water can be very bad for them.
2. Protect their skin from the sun. Animals with white patches especially on their nose and ears can get sunburnt which could lead to skin cancer. Make sure their skin is protected and avoid going out at times of the day when the sun is at its strongest.
3. Make sure your animals have access to the shade at all times. Horses and field animals should have appropriate shelter in their fields and pets in the home always need cool areas to rest and relax.
4. Know the signs for heatstroke - including collapse, excessive panting, and dribbling. If you think that your animal may be suffering, take them to a cool place and cover them with a cold damp towel to bring down their body temperature. Contact your vet immediately. NEVER leave your dog in your car, even with the windows open it is far too hot for them.
5. Avoid exercising your pet between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. This will help protect them from overheating and lessens the risk of heatstroke significantly.
The dogs at Margaret Green Animal Rescue have been keeping cool this week by playing in their paddling pools but the charity says they desperately need more. Helen explains: “We only have a couple of pools but we would love some more so that more rescue dogs can play at a time. The water keeps them from overheating and the playtime provides them with important time out and fun with the staff and volunteers here.
The dogs are playing in plastic sandpits or pools that have been donated. If you have one in your garden shed doing nothing, please consider dropping it in to help a rescue dog.”
Donations can be taken to the Margaret Green Animal Rescue Centre: Lincoln Farm, Bere Road, Winterborne Kingston, Blandford, Dorset, DT11 9BP.