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Pets feeling the heat as temperatures rise

The RSPCA has received more than 1,800 calls about animals and heat exposure in July.

Dog owners are being urged to avoid exercising their pets during the hottest parts of the day as the UK is gripped by sweltering weather.

Pets can burn their paws on scorching pavements and are also at an increased risk of heatstroke, the RSPCA said.

The charity warned that many animals do not realise when they are becoming too hot and called on owners to take steps to keep their pets cool.

More than 1,800 calls regarding animals and heat exposure were handled by the RSPCA between July 1 and July 22.

Operational superintendent Lee Hopgood said: “There is a very serious side to keeping pets cool over summer as animals can suffer from heatstroke which could be fatal, especially if left in a hot car, conservatory or caravan.

“Pets may struggle to realise when they are too hot so make sure they have constant access to shade and don’t over exercise them in the heat.

“Remember if the pavement is too hot for your hand then it will be too hot for their paws.”

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A dog cools off in the hot weather at an RSPCA centre (RSPCA/ PA)

Signs of burned paw pads include limping or refusing to walk, licking or chewing at the feet, parts of the pad missing or blisters and redness.

The RSPCA advice during the hot weather also includes:

– Never leave pets unattended in hot environments.

– Freeze water bowls before filling them to keep the liquid cool.

– Give pets damp towels to lie on, or let dogs lie in a paddling pool.

– Use pet-safe sun cream to protect animal skin.

– Ensure animals always have access to shade and drinking water.

– Only transport pets and farm animals when absolutely necessary

– Keep fish tanks out of direct sunlight and top up water in ponds.

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