17 Dec 2018

Owners need to take the heat off their pets this summer.

Christchurch City Council Animal Management Team Leader Mark Vincent says plenty of clean, fresh, cool water and shade are essential for the summer season at home, on the road or away on holiday.

“If you are feeling the heat, imagine how much worse it is for a dog left in a car in the baking sun or outside in a yard with no shady trees or cooler areas in sight,” Mr Vincent says.

“Dogs struggle to keep cool, so it’s the owner’s responsibility to keep their pet well-hydrated, safe and healthy in the heat.

Dogs need plenty of fresh, clean water in summer.

Dogs need plenty of fresh, clean water in summer.

“Please do not leave your dog in a closed-up airless car or the stifling heat of a caravan.

“Circulation, ventilation and a cooler environment are all critical to your pet's survival.

“Pets rely on us to keep them safe and cool as the temperatures soar over the summer.

“When travelling with pets, keep the car interior cool and make regular stops so you can all enjoy a rest in a shady spot.

“Bring plenty of water and wet towel for your pet to lie on for those long drives.”

Mr Vincent says it is also important when taking your dog for a walk to be mindful and try to avoid hot surfaces, such as roads, footpaths and hot sandy beaches.

“If a surface is hot to your touch, imagine how a dog’s paws are affected,” he says. “Hot surfaces will burn. It is equally important to avoid walks in the middle of the day – between 11am and 4pm – as temperatures climb over summer.

“Watch out for excessive panting – an indication your pet may be in trouble.”

Key messages

• Animals can die in overheated vehicles.
• Leave your pet at home during Christmas shopping.
• Constant circulation is essential for pets travelling in cars.
• A wet towel to lie on provides an easy cool-down spot.
• Slow, progressive cooling is best for overheated dogs. Do not dunk a dog in cold water.
• Avoid walking dogs on hot surfaces or sandy beach dunes
• Enjoy a walk early or late in the day to make the most of cooler temperatures.