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Council urges suncare safety for pets

19 July 2022
With temperatures continuing to be high this week, Derry City and Strabane District Council is urging people to care for their pets during the current spell of good weather.
 
This follows on from recent soaring temperatures, which has raised concerns about the plight of domestic pets during the extreme hot weather.
 
Enda Cummins, Principal Environmental Health Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council  urged pet owners to ensure they take precautionary measures to make sure that their pets are adequately cared for during the warm weather.
 
"People are very conscious of how to protect themselves against strong sun and warm temperatures, therefore we would urge the same care is applied to household pets.  Hot weather is often deadly for dogs and many tragedies can be avoided if a number of simple precautionary measures are put in place.     
 
"Guidelines recommend that dogs should be kept cool indoors when possible during hot weather.  If they have to be outside, measures should be taken to avoid them being outside during the hottest part of the day.   All-day shade and drinking water in a heavy bowl should be provided at all times".
 
Here are a few tips to keep your dog and pet safe this summer.
 
If your dog is outside make sure that it always has an adequate supply of fresh clean water and a place to shelter from the sun.  If possible, bring outside dogs inside on hot days.
Dog walkers should be aware than on a hot day of 25ºC with little wind and low humidity the paving and tarmac can reach a scorching 52ºC.  Dog walkers should consider the “5 second rule”  - this is a simple test where you place the back of your hand on the pavement.  If you cannot hold it for five seconds then it’s too hot to walk your dog.   Dogs paws are just as sensitive as human feet and susceptible to getting painfully burned even on days that don’t appear overly hot.
 Older and obese dogs, as well as dogs with medical problems should be kept inside if possible.  Snub-nosed such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, and Shih Tzus can also be susceptible to hot weather problems and should be watched for signs of overheating.
The best time for walking or playtime with your dog is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is very hot and humid as dogs can dehydrate very quickly.
Cars can be death traps for dogs, even with the windows open. A car can go from comfortable to oven-like in minutes, so never leave your dog alone in a car. And don’t think that a cloudy day or parking in the shade reduces the risks. The sun moves during the day and clouds can actually magnify the heat.
If you are taking your dog along in the car for a long trip, always carry a container of cool water for him.
Bringing your dog to the beach is fine, as long as you can ensure he will have shade when he needs it and plenty of clean, fresh water. If your dog likes to swim in the sea, be sure to wash him off with fresh water as soon as possible as salt water can be rough on the coat and skin.
 Summer also brings dangers in the form of insecticides, weed sprays, and snail baits, to name a few, so watch out for these hazards in gardens and on your walks. 
For information on how to protect your animal during hot weather contact the Council's Environmental Health team at 028 71 253253 or visit the website at https://www.derrystrabane.com/dogcontrol