Keeping pets safe in the extreme heat

"History never repeats itself. Mankind always does," said Voltaire. How true that is and irresponsible animal owners never seem to learn. Every year we hear the same story of pets being left in cars in hot weather.

Owners get fined but that does not help the poor animals who had suffered for hours in an oven-like car.

There rarely is any intentional cruelty. "I was only going to be a few minutes," is the phrase we hear so often but the few minutes have turned into half an hour and the pet is suffering.

The fact that the well-intentioned owner had considerately parked the car in the shade no longer applied and what was cool shade is now hot sunshine.

I admired the owner of a block of shops with a car park who had placed a sign saying "If you leave your pet in this car park in sunshine I will break your car window, take your pet and call the police."

Make a point of not taking your pet in your car in hot weather, air con or no air con. If you must take the pet because the vet is some way off, or you need them to be kennelled, then do the journey in the early morning and go straight there.

Leave the windows slightly open. Take a bowl and a bottle of tap water kept away from the heat (animals do not like warm water although, of course, there is always the exception). Water differs in animal's taste so it is better to take the water to which he or she is accustomed.

Do remember this in the coming months. We humans can control our activity, can go to the fridge to get a drink, move out of the sun when we choose. Our pets rely on us. Do not let them down.