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Know the Signs for Heatstroke

As summer temperatures increase, the ISPCA is offering advice for pet owners on how to keep their pets safe during periods of hot weather. 

Please be mindful that pets can quickly become dehydrated and overheat. It is best to walk dogs early in the morning and late in the evening when the sun is less strong and temperatures are cooler. Always have fresh water available for your pet; refresh and refill more often than on a normal day and leave extra if you are going out. Make sure they have access to shade and keep them indoors in cooler rooms when the heat becomes too extreme. 

If you have a rabbit or other small mammals in the garden, keep their living quarters in the shade. You could also cover the front of their enclosures with newspaper as they can heat up very quickly. All caged animals, even if they are indoors, should be kept out of direct sunlight. 


Heatstroke can cause serious damage and even be fatal to pets. To avoid overheating, try not to overexert your pet. Please keep in mind that older or overweight animals, or animals with heart and lung conditions, and flat-faced pets such as pugs or Persian cats are more susceptible to overheating. 

Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. Parking in the shade and leaving the windows cracked is not effective enough to cool the inside of a car. On a day that is 30C or hotter, the inside of the car can reach fatal temperatures in under ten minutes. Dogs in particular are at risk because they cool themselves by panting. If the air becomes too hot, they are unable to regulate their body temperature. 

If you do see an animal locked in a car on a hot day, contact Gardaí or the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline at 0818 515 515. 

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