THE RSPCA is urging Victorians to keep pets safe and cool during summer.
For animals who live outdoors, it is important that owners take note of daily temperatures and take action.
Do not keep animals in hot cars, include them in holiday plans and ensure they have enough shade and water.
RSPCA Chief Executive Officer Dr Liz Walker said the consequences of leaving dogs in hot cars can be tragic.
“It only takes six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car as temperatures can rise to dangerous levels very quickly and can reach double the outside temperature even on mild days,” she said.
“Tinted windows, parking in the shade or leaving windows down do not reduce the inside temperature significantly.”
If pets do need to be left outside on warm days, the RSPCA recommends leaving multiple sources of cool clean water for them, ensuring that water bowls can’t be tipped over. Providing multiple sources accounts for spillage, evaporation, or leaks.
Multiple sources of shelter should also be provided to account for shade options and sun moving over the course of the day.
If going on a holiday, plan to take your pets with you, or organise a reliable friend, relative, neighbour or pet sitting service to care for them while you are away.
RSPCA Victoria released data from last financial year, reporting 1163 reports of abandoned animals last financial year, with 384 of these reports during last summer alone.
If leaving your animal at home, ensure to inform neighbours of your plans, and let them know your pet is being cared for so that they know they have not been abandoned.
The RSPCA reminded Victorians that responsible pet ownership comes with legal and moral obligations to keep pets safe.
“None of us want animals to suffer in the heat so always make plans for your pets to be kept happy and safe, even in milder summer weather,” Dr Walker said.