The RSPCA Queensland is being swamped with calls from people reporting animals either suffering heat stress or being left in situations where they are at risk of succumbing to heat stress, with the another heatwave set to hit the Southern Downs region from Sunday.
Since 1 January the RSPCA says there have been 183 calls relating to animals being left in hot cars, 584 about animals being left with insufficient or no water and 303 reporting animals being unable to access shade.
“Surely people must be aware of the dangers – it beggars belief that people are ignoring the warnings,” said RSPCA Qld spokesperson Michael Beatty.
“If it’s thirty degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can potentially rise to well over forty degrees in less than five minutes.
“This weekend and early next week we’re talking of temperatures close to 40 degrees.”
Dogs left in backyards can also be in danger.
“A dog can survive for days without food, but in these temperatures, if they don’t have shade or can’t reach water they’ll die,” Mr Beatty said.“A rope or a chain can easily become entangled in furniture or plants and that can be fatal.
“It’s far better to make the yard or courtyard secure and then it won’t be necessary to tether the dog in the first place.
“We would also recommend that there are at least two to three containers of water in case one gets knocked over.
“Exercising dogs in the middle of the day can be dangerous at this time of the year – not only can they overheat very quickly, the hot bitumen can burn paw pads.
“The best time of day for a dog walk is sunrise and sunset.
“Flat-faced dogs (Brachycephalic breeds) have shortened airways which reduces the effectiveness of panting.
“The weather does not even have to be particularly hot for these breeds to develop symptoms of heat stress.”
Warwick’s maximum is expected to hit 38 degrees on Sunday, with 34 tipped for Stanthorpe.
Daytime maximum temperatures are expected to be well above average all next week across the Southern Downs and Granite Belt, although showers are tipped for both days.
• If you see an animal in distress, contact the RSPCA’s 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL.