Pet owners are being reminded to keep an eye on their furry friends over the summer as complaints relating to pets in distress and animals being left in vehicles start to rise.
As the current heatwave continues, Dubbo is predicted to reach 44 degrees on Tuesday, before dropping to 32 and 33 on Wednesday and Thursday.
Canobolas Family Pet Hospital's Dr Lisa Brisbane said it was important to keep an eye on pets and prepare them for hot weather.
"It really is vital that you avoid allowing your pets to become overheated," she said.
"The easiest ways are to provide plenty of shade in outdoor areas, make sure water is available and put some ice cubes in there so they will slowly melt, or you can even put dry food in water, freeze it and then allow your pets to eat and drink as the ice melts.
"Make sure you don't exercise your pet in the heat of the day, it's better early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and always avoid hot surfaces like tar or footpaths and your pets feet can blister quickly.
"Most importantly never leave your pet in a car as they can quickly overheat and become distressed or ill.
"If you notice your pet becoming lethargic or panting and breathing heavily then use a hose or damp towels to cool them down. If they become nauseous or start vomiting, you should take them to a vet immediately."
Each year the RSPCA receives over 50,000 cruelty complaints with numbers spiking during the summer months.
NSW alone received over 10,000 complaints last summer and the RSPCA are backing the stance of NSW Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall, to introduce into State Parliament legislation for harsher penalties for animal cruelty.
RSPCA NSW CEO, Steve Coleman, said they were supportive of the proposed changes.
"We hear from our members and supporters far too often that they consider sentences for cruelty offenders to be inadequate, and this is a big step towards addressing those concerns. For animal cruelty offenders, the message is that courts will be empowered to deal with them appropriately, in line with community expectation," he said.
"It is clear how seriously and how strongly the community feels about this issue and we hope that parliamentarians get behind this. Most importantly, we welcome these changes because they will help protect more animals from suffering."
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