Why you should never leave your dog in a car


Never leave your dog in a car

Never leave your dog in a car


It's something many responsible dog owners may not realise – but leaving your dog alone in a car on a warm day, even for a short time, is never a good idea. Let’s talk about why this is dangerous, and what to do if you find a dog in distress.


Facts first


Here’s an eye opener: even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside, the inside of your car could reach 47°C within an hour on day when it’s 22°C outside. A parked car is basically like an oven. And here’s the thing: parking in the shade or leaving the window open makes no significant difference on a warm day.


Then, there’s the fact that dogs sweat through their paws only and not their entire body, like us, so they use panting for cooling down. This means if a dog is too hot, they could have heatstroke in as little as 15 minutes. 


So many caring pet owners put their dogs at risk when popping out for just a few minutes, but knowing the facts gives you a whole new perspective. 


Signs of heatstroke


These are the warnings signs of heatstroke:


  • Heavy panting 
  • Excessive drooling
  • Shaking 
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse


If you see a dog in distress


If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call 999 to report the incident.

If the dog is showing the signs mentioned above and you think the police may not get there quick enough, make sure you tell them that you intend to break into the car to free the dog. Take pictures or videos of the dog and get the name and phone numbers of any witnesses. You’ll need to do this to avoid being charged of criminal damage. 


Lowering the dog’s temperature


Once the dog is out of the car, it’s essential to gradually lower their temperature. Take them to a shaded or cool area and douse them with a little room-temperature water. Don’t use cold water, as this can cause them to go into shock. You can also use wet towels (reapplying water regularly) or place the dog by a fan on low speed.


Let the dog drink small amounts of water (again, room temperature) and continue cooling them down with a little water until their breathing is normal. Then, phone the nearest vet. 


Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign


The Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign started in 2015 and includes groups such as the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, the British Veterinary Association and The National Police Chiefs Council. Here’s everything you need to know about it, including how to raise awareness or tips for keeping dogs cool in hot weather. 



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