As temperatures start to rise again across the state this week, RSPCA Victoria is reminding owners to take the necessary precautions to keep their animals safe in the heat.
Importantly, the forecast is also a timely reminder animals should never be left in hot cars, even for a short period of time.
RSPCA Victoria head of prevention Sophie Buchanan said knowing who to call in an emergency could be the difference between life and death for an animal.
‘‘If anyone does find a pet locked in a vehicle, it is essential they immediately call Victoria Police on 000,’’ Ms Buchanan said.
‘‘Police on duty around the state can respond to an emergency call rapidly — and as animals can suffer heat exhaustion and die in just six minutes, time is of the essence.
‘‘We love seeing pet owners include their dogs in more of their daily activities, but sometimes leaving your animal at home is simply a better option in the heat.’’
The RSPCA said a few basic precautions can reduce the likelihood they will suffer from heat-induced stress.
It said the most important thing pet owners could do for their pets is to provide them with shade, rest, and multiple sources of cool, clean water.
Walking or exercising animals early in the morning or late at night can also reduce the potential for injury to a dog’s pads from exposure to hot asphalt or pavement.