There are a number of things you can do to help make summer heat bearable for pets, but first and foremost, it is not safe to leave your dog unattended in a car for even a couple of minutes while you pop to a shop or run an errand.
The temperature within a car, even if parked in the shade, will climb rapidly and heatstroke can occur within just a few minutes in this environment.
When it’s 22oC / 72oF outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47oC / 117oF within 60 minutes.
It is not sufficient to leave a bowl of water or a window open for your pet, as this is not enough to protect your pet from heatstroke, which can have fatal consequences.
The RSPCA’s message is: ‘Dogs die in hot cars. Don’t leave your dog alone in a car.’
Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads. If you suspect an animal is suffering from heatstroke, act quickly – it can be fatal!
• Move them to a shaded, cool area and ring your vet immediately.
• Urgently, gradually lower their body temperature by dousing them with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock – you could use a shower, or spray and place them in the breeze of a fan.
• Let them drink small amounts of cool water.
• Continue dousing until their breathing settles – never cool pets so much that they begin shivering.
If you see a dog unattended in a car on a warm day, call the Police on 999. If the police are unable to attend, please call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999.
For more information on hot weather pet care, please call Clockhouse on 01453 752555.