South Melbourne’s Diggiddy Doggy Daycare turns crisis centre for Melbourne’s big heatwave
- Dana McCauley
- Port Phillip Leader
- January 16, 2014 10:20AM
Dogs wait their turn for the ice bath at Diggiddy Doggy Daycare in South Melbourne. Source: Supplied
SOUTH Melbourne’s Diggiddy Doggy Daycare centre has become a crisis centre for heat-stricken pooches.
Owner Nicole Farren said distressed dog owners without air conditioning were turning up at the centre seeking refuge, as the five-day heatwave approached its peak.
“We’re getting a lot of demand, but we’ve been fully booked since November,” Ms Farren said.
She said the centre was trying to free up space for those dogs who desperately needed to find refuge from the soaring temperatures, set to reach 44 degrees today.
“If dogs have got the option of staying at home, and their owners have got air conditioning, we recommend that they stay there so we can take dogs where people have got no other choice,” Ms Farren said.
Ice baths are the order of the day at Diggiddy Doggy Daycare in South Melbourne during Melbourne’s heatwave. Source: Supplied
She said high-energy play activities had been suspended, with pooches instead encouraged to splash in the pool and offered liver-flavoured frozen treats.
“If dogs have been exercising all day and there is no relief overnight – if they don’t have air conditioning at home – that’s when heat exhaustion can kick in,” Ms Farren said.
The dog-loving entrepreneur said she had taken several dogs into her home, sleeping in the kitchen as “the rest of the house was over 33 degrees”.
“Last night really scared me,” she said.
Diggiddy Doggie’s tips for keeping pooches safe in the heat:
* Watch the signs of heat exhaustion, such as heavy panting, drooling, mild weakness, increased heart rate, seizures, vomiting and diarrhoea.
* Bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs and other short nosed breeds are more susceptible to heat exhaustion.
* Tiled floors provide dogs with a nice cool place to lie, if you can have the dogs in an air conditioned cooler room of the home.
* If your dog is kept outside, make sure they have adequate shade and soak a towel in cold water and leave it for them to lie on.
* Make sure plenty of water is about- but never leave your dog unattended with a kiddie pool
* Brush your dog out regularly, but long-haired dogs should not be clipped (their coat is insulating).
* Do not walk your dog in the middle of the day.
* Try and limit car trips and never leave your dog in the car.