Charities and vets issue reminder as temperatures soar

As temperatures soar across the country, vets are reminding pet owners not to leave their dogs in hot cars.

With the Government easing some driving restrictions and a heatwave sweeping across England, vets are reminding pet owners not to leave their dogs in a car even for a short time.

British Veterinary Association President Daniella Dos Santos said: “Vets all too often see the unfortunate and sometimes tragic consequences of dogs being left on their own in cars on a warm day.

“With warm days forecast, more people are expected to take car journeys for exercise or leisure to take advantage of the sunshine.

“We’d urge owners not to leave any animal in a car while out and about, even if it is for a short trip to the supermarket. Temperatures can rise quickly inside a vehicle even when it doesn’t feel that hot outside, which is why ‘not long’ can end up being too long for your beloved pet.

“This is especially vital at a time when strict social distancing measures mean vets are only able to see essential cases and may have smaller teams working in the practice as they try to do everything they can to look after pets while protecting clients and themselves.”

What to do if you see a dog in a car on a hot day:

In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police. The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, they would need police assistance at such an incident.

If the situation becomes critical and police can’t attend, many people’s instinct is to break into the car to free the dog. But please be aware that, without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage. Make sure you tell the police of your intentions and take photos or footage of the dog as well as names and numbers of witnesses. The law states that 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.

Once removed from the car, move the dog to a shaded or cool area and douse him/her with small amounts of room-temperature water. Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water.

If the dog isn’t displaying signs of heatstroke (such as heavy panting, restlessness, and lack of coordination), establish how long the dog has been in the car and make a note of the registration. If in a public parking lot, ask a member of staff to make an announcement of the situation over the tannoy, if possible, and get someone to stay with the dog to monitor its condition.


source: The British Veterinary Association