As temperatures rise, Dogs Trust UK warns ‘dogs are dying in cars’

Every year the Dogs Trust has to remind dog owners not to leave their pets in their cars and TVP West Berkshire has stepped up the campaign.

The Dogs Trust urges dog owners to think twice before any car travel with their pet.

They advise: “If you have to travel with your dog, plan your trip. Consider traveling during the cooler times of the day, identify places to take breaks, and avoid congested roads or times of day when you might get stuck in traffic. “

Don't leave your dog in the car during the heat wave
Don’t leave your dog in the car during the heat wave

His clear warning to never leave your dog in a vehicle, even with the window down, is backed up by a poster campaign.

The Dogs Trust poster, which warns that a dog could die within 20 minutes if left in a hot car, has been tweeted by police as a reminder for dog owners to take care of their pets.

His advice to viewers is that if you see a dog in distress in a hot car, call 999 immediately.

The Dogs Trust also regularly reminds dog owners of other precautions to take in extreme heat:

  • Avoid walking or doing indoor or outdoor activities with your dog during the hottest times of the day, so early morning or later in the evening is usually best.
  • Always take plenty of water with you when you’re out with your dog, and make sure you have access to fresh water at home at all times.
  • Asphalt can get very hot in the sun; check it with your hand before letting your dog walk on it so you don’t burn his paws. Try the ‘five second test’: if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws
  • If you can’t avoid taking your dog in the car on a hot day, even if you’re traveling a short distance, avoid traveling during the hottest part of the day.
  • Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a hot day. Not even with the window open. (Leaving your pet alone in a vehicle or tied up outside can also put it at higher risk of being stolen.)
  • Use a cooling mat or wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a dish towel for your pet to lie down on if desired.
  • Use cold treats from the refrigerator to add moisture or make an ice lolly with pet-friendly ingredients.
  • Don’t let your pet get sunburned – use pet-safe sunscreen.
Take care of your dog during the heat
Take care of your dog during the heat

The trust goes on to advise what to do if you spot the early signs of heat stroke, including panting, shortness of breath, tiredness, decreased desire to play, drooling and vomiting.

If you detect these signs –

  • stop exercising your dog, bring him inside to a cool, shaded area or an air-conditioned car/building and seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Give your dog a drink of room temperature water, allowing him to drink small amounts.
  • if your dog is conscious, start pouring small amounts of cold water on the dog’s body and reapply water regularly until his breathing begins to calm down, but not so much that he begins to shiver.
  • do not use wet towels as this can restrict airflow and cause the dog’s body temperature to rise further, as can happen with cooling jackets/coats.

Dogs Trust says that having fun with your dog indoors can be just as invigorating as a walk, but owners still need to be aware that they need to ensure their dogs stay cool indoors too, so choose the coolest room of the house, staying out of direct sunlight, always having fresh water available and making sure your dog has a cool place to relax and sleep.

Don't leave your dog in the car during the heat wave
Don’t leave your dog in the car during the heat wave

More tips and advice from Dogs Trust here.

In August 2020, the moment Bill Morris rescued a dog from a boiling car in Newbury’s retail park by smashing the car’s window with an ax made national headlines and serves as a reminder to keep your pets safe.

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