WITH temperatures rising across the region, the RSPCA yesterday pleaded with pet owners to be aware of the dangers of heat stress.
Last year several dogs died, two of them after they became entangled while tethered in the back yard.
"A dog can survive for days without food, but in these temperatures, if they don't have shade or can't reach water they'll die," said RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty.
"A rope or a chain can easily become entangled in furniture or plants and that can be fatal. It's far better to make the yard or courtyard secure. and then it won't be necessary to tether the dog in the first place. We would also recommend that there are at least two to three containers of water in case one gets knocked over."
And despite all the warnings people are still leaving animals in cars or on the back of utes.
"People simply have to be aware of the dangers. If it's 30 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can potentially rise to well over 40 degrees in less than five minutes. We tested a light coloured sedan and the temperature rose to 57 degrees in 12 minutes. Any animal left inside would have been dead."
Exercising dogs in the middle of the day can also be dangerous at this time of the year. They tend to overheat very quickly and once their temperature rises above forty degrees they can die.
"If a dog is suffering from heat stress it's imperative to get its temperature down as quickly as possible," warned Mr Beatty. "Hose them down with water and better still place ice packs on their head and stomach. It's no good rushing them to the vet in a hot car because the chances are their temperature will continue to rise. Try to cool them down first."