Street Paws Registered Charity 1178826 mission and purpose is to protect the bond between homeless owners and their dogs with the provision of free accessible veterinary care and support services across the UK.
As the temperatures soar across the UK, our dogs and their owners are at risk as much as in cold weather especially from dehydration and heat stroke.
Advice is to keep out of the sun during peak times, stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. If you are rough sleeping, it is not always possible. You cannot go home and sit in the shade, you cannot always avoid taking your dog out, so what can YOU do to help.
If you see someone who is rough sleeping (with or without a dog) you could simply offer them a bottle of water. Some people may not know what to do or say, I find that a simple “Hello I’m sure you’re hot here’s some water” is enough. If you want to stop for a chat then that is great, it will make their day – if not that is fine, getting the water to them is the most important part.
If they have a dog, check that they have a water bowl. If not, again you could think about getting one for them, many discount stores on the high street sell the travel bowls for just £1. A visible bowl filled with water accessible to the dog will keep the dog hydrated in the heat and allay any fears from members of the public that the dog is not staying hydrated.
Sun cream is a necessity to protect the skin from UV damage, but this is a luxury item for a rough sleeper. Do you have an old bottle from last year that you will not use? You could donate this directly to a homeless person or a charity who support homelessness. Maybe you have a sun hat you no longer need? Again, this would be very gratefully received.
We have lots of cooling items on our Street Paws Amazon Wish List which are being distributed across all our outreach areas. We have cooling mats and bandanas – these are great as you simply wet them with water, and they can prevent over heating for the dogs. You can also send us travel water bowls directly, and we will hand them out at outreach.
You can find our list here https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/VOIL5GZHJUHE?ref_=wl_share
If you do see someone (or a dog) you have concerns about please consider at least a bottle of water and a chat, you could save their life.
There’s lots of ways to support Street Paws. Please visit www.streetpaws.co.uk for more information.