Dog in hot car

Some people aren’t getting it: dogs die in hot cars

Dog in hot car

Another hot day, another report of dogs being left in vehicles with no ventilation. According to the Independent, workmen in Bristol were forced to smash a car window to rescue three dogs trapped on the hottest day of the year.

This is after one person left a note on the windscreen which read: “Dogs die in hot cars! You have been reported to the police.”

In a statement, the RSPCA said its emergency hotline has received 3,832 calls about animals and heat exposure from 1 June to 24 July. Sadly, three dogs have died in hot cars since the start of the heatwave. Why isn’t the message getting across?

Both the RSPCA and the Dogs Trust are regularly reminding dog owners of the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars, with many people believing that it’s OK to leave a dog on a hot day if the windows are open or they’re parked in the shade.

Just 20 minutes can prove fatal

But the fact is, just 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog. Even when its a relatively low 22ºC, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47ºC within an hour. The dog will suffer through excessive panting, whimpering or barking, which can lead to a loss of muscle control, kidney failure, brain damage and, eventually, heart failure.

The veterinary team at the Dogs Trust has listed six tips to make people aware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car, which are summarised as follows:

  • Don’t leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes.
  • If you see a dog in distress in a parked call, call the police.
  • Avoid travelling with a dog during the heat of the day. Use sun blinds on the windows and consider opening a window.
  • Make sure the dog has a supply of fresh water.
  • If you are present at the rescue of a dog, seek veterinary advice.
  • Wet towels can be used to cool a dog, but they must be changed regularly or sprayed with water.

If the situation becomes critical, and the police and RSPCA are too far away to help, you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.

Be aware that if you decide to do this, you may need to defend your actions in court.

For more information visit the RSPB or Dogs Trust.

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