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Charities issue warning for animals ahead of hot weather

A dog at Warleigh Weir on the Kennet and Avon canal near Bath (Ben Birchall/PA)
A dog at Warleigh Weir on the Kennet and Avon canal near Bath (Ben Birchall/PA)

Charities have warned pet owners about the dangers of hot weather affecting animals ahead of a spike in temperatures this week.

The RSPCA is urging dog owners to be aware of the dangers of walking their pets – especially ones with thick coats and underlying health conditions – during the warmer seasons.

The Blue Cross meanwhile urged cat owners to be careful when leaving windows open after a kitten fell from three storeys and fractured her leg.

Warm weather in June
Temperatures are expected to rise to 34C in some parts of the UK later this week (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The Met Office predicted temperatures may reach above-average highs by Friday, with southern parts of the UK hitting 30C and 34C in certain spots.

Temperatures in Wales and the South West could jump to 25C, 28C in the North West and 27C in the North East.

PA Graphics

Esme Wheeler, RSPCA dog welfare specialist, said: “The truth is walking dogs in hot weather can be a silent killer.

“While the majority would never leave our dogs in a car on a hot day, or even take our dogs for a really long walk in the heat, many people may still be putting their dogs at risk even on a short walk, or taking them to places such as fields and beaches with little or no shade.

“We have long-campaigned that dogs die in hot cars, but this year we’re highlighting that dogs die on hot walks, too. The message remains very simple – never leave a dog in a hot car because ‘not long’ is too long, and when it comes to walks, ‘if in doubt, don’t go out.’”

The Blue Cross said Dory, a 16-week old kitten, was found by her owner after she fell from a window in Pimlico, central London, during a spate of hot weather on May 18.

The kitten was so badly injured she had to have her leg amputated.

Dory the kitten
Dory, a 16-week-old kitten, fell from a three-storey window during a spate of hot weather. She is seen here pre-surgery on arrival at Blue Cross Victoria animal hospital (Blue Cross/PA)

Dory’s owner placed her in the care of the charity following the incident and the Blue Cross is now hoping to rehome her.

Some advice by the charity to cool pets down includes keeping cats indoors during the hottest points in the day, with windows open that have wire mesh or netting to prevent any injuries, and instead letting them out during the cooler parts of the day.

Other tips include giving cooling pads and ice treats to dogs.

Nicky Maxey, senior press officer at the Met Office, said some places may see a heatwave later this week.

A heatwave is defined as three consecutive days of with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold. The threshold varies in each county.

Ms Maxey said: “We are seeing a build of heat day on day as we go through the rest of the week, with Friday potentially being the warmest day of the week.

People sunbathe during warm weather
People relax in the sun on the grass at the Royal Crescent, Bath (Ben Birchall/PA)

“We could see temperatures rise to the low 30s and up to 34C in the South East. Then we see a change of weather from Saturday with a cold front pushing down from the North, which will bring a dip in temperatures but also a chance of rain along the front.

“It really depends on how quickly that front moves as to how quickly we all lose the heat.”

She added: “There is a possibility that we may see three consecutive days of 25C for some of the northern and western counties. The likelihood of seeing three consecutive days for the temperatures that are needed in London is lower.

“I think, rather than a sort of widespread heatwave for the whole of the south, we might see some isolated areas that could reach the thresholds.”

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