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HEATWAVE TIPS: Attending to your pets during the heatwave

HEATWAVE TIPS: Attending to your pets during the heatwave

When animals are exposed to high temperatures, they are vulnerable to dehydrating or suffering from severe stress.

In order to prevent this pet owners should start preparing to protect their pets from the heat in advance.

The most effective way to help animals in hot weather is to ensure that there is plenty of shade, clean and cool water, and allowing them to rest.


Ample water that is both clean and cool should be easily accessible for animals. If there are a large amount of animals, there should be a large amount of water sources that is spread out so as to prevent overcrowding at one source. The water containers should be fixed in such a manner that it will not get tipped over by animals. Water should be fixated to pipes that can either automatically refill as water levels decrease or owners should check every so often that the water containers are always full. Owners should familiarize their pets with the different water sources days in advance from the heatwave. This is to ensure that the animals do not have to search for their water in the heat. Water sources should also be placed nearby shady areas so that the animal doesn’t have to travel far in the heat in order to get water.


Pet owners should ensure that there is plenty of suitable shelter for all their pets. If there is a large number of animals, the owner might have to consider separating the animals into groups and providing individual shelter for each group to prevent overcrowding which will increase the risk of the animals becoming stressed.

Suitable shelter is shelter that simultaneously shelters the animal from the harsh sun as well as allows cool wind to pass through.

For example,

Shelter that is made out of materials such as aluminium or galvanised steel for the roof because they reflect the radiative rays of the sun, shelter made from cloth/timber/corrugated iron.

The inside of your home is also suitable due to there being shade, ensure windows are left open to allow the cool wind to pass through.

Large trees that can provide great amounts of shade. We advise that owners do not only rely on the shelter of trees.

Kennels must be moved under the shade.


We do not recommend that owners travel with their pets during the heat wave unless it is a matter of urgency.

In the event of an animal needing to be transported during the heat wave we advise that the animal be transported in the early hours of the morning or in the later hours of the day toward the evening when temperatures are at their lowest. Owners should stop ever so often when traveling long distances and should provide the animals with cool water. Under no circumstance should an animal be left alone in the vehicle in the sun, even if the windows are open.


Pets should not be forced to exercise/work in the heat. If you would like to exercise with your pet it should be during the early hours of the morning or the evening when temperatures are low.


Animals that have dark skin/fur

Animals that are sick/injured

Animals that are still young

Animals that have no access to water, shelter and food.

Animals that are restrained (chained/ tied up)


Signs of heat stress include:


Dry noses


Drinking water excessively

Excessive amounts of saliva in the mouth

Lethargic behaviour


IMMEDIATELY remove the animal from direct heat/sunlight. Pick the animal up and place it somewhere shady and where there is cool wind blowing. Offer the animal small amounts of cool, clean water. Wet the animal’s feet and legs. Spray the animal with cool water. Smaller pets can even be placed inside buckets of water for a short period under the supervision of the owner. If the animal is not cooling down, it should be taken to the vet immediately.

Put animals first this Firework season

Put animals first this Firework season

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Tshwane (Tshwane SPCA) inspectors are bracing themselves for an increase in animal casualties as the festive season approaches.  In a bid to curb the annual numbers of casualties, the Tshwane SPCA is warning the public that animals may be injured and killed, unless precautions are taken against the indiscriminate use of fireworks.

The Tshwane SPCA appeals to everyone to be alert to the very real effects of fireworks on animals.

Despite annual warnings to pet owners about the dangers of fireworks we continue to receive calls about animals suffering horrifically from the effects of fireworks.  Most of these injuries could be avoided if organised events and fireworks activities are planned more carefully and kept away from residential areas and farm animals.

Animals subjected to noise and the flashing of lights of fireworks is harmed in several ways, including psychologically through extreme fear, which may persist even after the event.  This can lead to a lifelong anxiety problem.  Animals are injured when they try to run away (breaking through windows, fences, razor wire etc.)  Pets are run over by vehicles while running panic stricken in the streets.  Wild animals and birds are often forgotten in our primary concern for our pets.  Many of these animals hunt at night and can become disorientated by the noise and flashes.

The Tshwane SPCA believes no responsible person should set off fireworks knowing the terror that will be experienced by animals in the vicinity.  Pets have hearing ability far in excess of that of humans. The “bang” you hear when a firework is set off is experienced seven times louder by your pet.  Remember a dog can hear a grasshopper eat, so imagine the fear an animal feels when a firecracker explodes.


SA Police Service 10111
By-Law Enforcement Centre Metro Police 0123580070
Fire Brigade 10177

An easy guide to protect pets from fireworks

  • Never set off fireworks near any animal.
  • If possible, stay at home with your pets and encourage calm behaviour.
  • If you can’t be home with them, keep them inside and preferably in a room such as the kitchen where the windows are higher (and more difficult to jump through).
  • Attempt to reduce any noise by closing curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume, to reduce the noise and effect of fireworks.
  • Place familiar and comforting items around them such as baskets, blankets, toys etc.
  • Provide them with something to do such as giving your dog a bone to chew or lots of catnip or a catnip toy for felines.
  • Ensure your pets have a hearty and nutritious meal around nightfall. This may make them drowsy and more likely to sleep.
  • Take rabbits and other outdoor pets into a garage or outbuilding.
  • Ask a veterinarian to prescribe a sedative.
  • Never, ever give medication for humans to animals. This includes paracetamol & “Rescue Remedy”.  Effects on humans and animals are not the same.  The consequences could be tragic indeed.  The effects and consequences may not be immediate, but long-term health damage could be caused to your pet.
  • Leave your pets to take refuge in a corner if they wish. Rather leave your pet to hide, as they feel more comfortable in that position.
  • Make sure pets are properly identified with a collar and name tag as well as a microchip. Should all your precautions fail and your pet does escape, you have a better chance of having your pet reunited with you.
    • All cats’ collars should have an elastic insert.
    • Dogs that panic can choke on a collar or leash so never use a choker chain or slip collar to restrain your dog.
  • Pet collars, microchips and sedatives can be obtained from your local SPCA branch or your local veterinary clinic.
  • Should you go on vacation, please remember that the SPCA provides boarding facilities for your pets.
  • Should private persons look after your pets, please ensure that you provide them with your veterinarian’s name, address and telephone number. They should also be in possession of your pet’s life-history cards.
  • Should your pet become lost, please remember that your pet might have been picked up by a member of the public, who could have taken your pet to your local SPCA.

All information about cruelty and injuries to animals should be reported to the local SPCA branch, at the following telephone numbers.  Information will be handled in strict confidence.  Emergency staff will be on duty during the festive period.

Tshwane SPCA – Waltloo




Tshwane SPCA – Centurion






Do not give pets as gifts this Christmas

Do not give pets as gifts this Christmas

Are you planning to give a pet to somebody for Christmas?  Think carefully, says The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Tshwane (Tshwane SPCA), which received hundreds of unwanted pets after Christmas last year.

Surely you have passed a pet shop window or the flea market stall and little furry faces and blue eyes stare at you, your heart melts and the thought comes to mind to buy this bundle of joy for a relative or a friend as a Christmas gift.

If you plan to give your child or loved one a cute puppy or kitten for Christmas, think again.  The receiver might be allergic to pet hair, or the complex does not allow pets.  None of your friends are interested, they already have enough and can’t take on another one.  The pet shop won’t take it back, because they have too many.  So what do you do with the animal?

The Tshwane SPCA urges the public not to give pets as gifts, since it is not fair to either the animal or the receiver.  To accept such an animal has long-term implications and it is important that the receiver be informed about the responsibilities. These gifts usually end up at the SPCA shortly after Christmas without the owners ever loving or attending on them. Animals are living creatures and require life long care.

Giving an animal is not giving a box of chocolates or a bottle of bubble bath.  All too often this is how many puppies and kittens find their way into the SPCA. Prospective pet owners, who really want to adopt a pet, should personally go and adopt an animal from one of our branches instead.  The owner needs to have an affinity and a bond with the animal and part of that is developed in choosing the animal.

Visit our Facebook page for our latest Adoption album

Prospective owners should be pet wise – make sure that you do your homework first: Decide on the pet you want.  Read up on it; be informed when you finally decide – don’t be impulsive. It is not fair on you and, least of all on the innocent victim the animal.

Pet owners should furthermore be prepared to form a lifelong partnership with the pet and be prepared for the financial outlay in taking care of their pet.  For instance when buying a puppy or kitten, there needs to be given consideration to whether the pet has been vaccinated or dewormed, that it would need follow up vaccinations and deworming.  A puppy will also go through developmental stages that involve chewing, housetraining and specialised feeding.  A dog has a life span of between 14 to 16 years and can be seen as a long term commitment.  As a pet owner you must spend enough time with your pet and your home should be suitable for it. Animals need kind human interaction and socialisation, apart from adequate shelter, good nutrition and water.

Safeguard yourself against fraudsters selling poorly developed pets that are prone to disease. When you finally decide to adopt a pet, support your nearest SPCA branch.  Adopting a pet from the Tshwane SPCA has various advantages; the Adoption fee (R740.00 for adult dogs; R880.00 for puppies & kittens, and R540.00 for adult cats) includes sterilisation of the pet, inplant of a micro chip, deworming and the first vaccination.

The Tshwane SPCA also does a pre-home check to ensure that the animal will get a loving and caring home and that it will be safe in its new environment.  Afterwards a post-home check is done to ensure that the animal has adapted in its new environment. When adopting a pet, you also enter into a binding contract with the SPCA.

This time of the year, unwanted and neglected pets end up at the SPCA or, even worse, as lonely creatures in backyards or dropped off on highways. The Tshwane SPCA strongly opposes the giving of animals as gifts.  When people get bored with their gifts, they throw them out!

The Tshwane SPCA appeals to the public not to give pets as gifts this Christmas!

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