Dogs can die in hot cars
Pet owners need to be aware that dogs can die in hot cars. After the recent warm weather we have had in previous months we could be in for another hot summer.
Keeping dogs safe in hot weather
Firstly never leave your dog alone on a warm day in a car, if you happen to see another dog in a car in distress please call 999.
Unfortunately, many people think that its ok to leave dogs in a car if the windows are open slightly or if they park the car in a shaded area. However, this is far from the truth as it is very dangerous to leave dogs in warm cars. Cars can become hot very quickly, for example when its 22 degrees outside the inside of a car can reach as much as 47 degrees within an hour.
Helping dogs locked in hot cars
If you do see a dog in distress in a hot car, don’t be worried about dialing 999, the police will inform the RSPCA that animal welfare assistance is needed. As they have no power of entry, they will need the police to assist too.
It is important to assess if the dog is showing signs of heatstroke. Dogs with heavy coats or excessively short muzzles are more likely to experience heat stroke.
Signs of heatstroke Include
▪ Heavy panting
▪ Excessive Drooling
▪ Lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
▪ The dog has collapsed or has been vomiting
Helping the dog
In the event that the situation looks critical for the dog. Please be aware that if you break in the car without proper justification it could be seen as criminal damage. If you felt you had no choice then it would be best to tell the police what you are intending and the reasons behind it. Ensure you take photos or video footage of the dog and get names and phone numbers for potential witnesses. If the dog can be removed safely then until the dog could be seen by a vet first aid would probably be required.
What you can do to help
Firstly, douse the dog with cool water ensure its not cold. You can also use wet towels or if you have an air fan place the dog next to that. Only give the dog small amounts of cool water to drink. Keep dousing them with the cool water until you see a change in their breathing and it starts to settle. Don’t put too much water on the dog though, as you dont want it to start to shiver. It is important that the dog is seen asap by a vet, prolonged hyperthermia can cause internal organs to become damaged.
What to do if there are no signs of heatstroke
If the dog is not showing the signs of heatstroke, please follow the advice below.
• Try and establish how long the dog has been in the car, look for any parking tickets which may have a time on.
• Take a note of the car registration
• If the car is parked within a shop, venue or event you could ask the staff to make an announcement for the owner.
• Either yourself or someone else should monitor the dog and its condition where possible, looking out for signs of distress or heatstroke.
• For further advice you can call the RSPCA animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
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