RSPCA Wirral & Chester Branch
Don't let one bad decision lead to a lifetime of regret....and your beloved pet be another sad statistic of a foolish mistake. Every year dogs needlessly suffer greatly and die after being left in hot cars. Most of us would think that surely everyone must know the dangers by now but some people just don't realise quite HOW DEADLY and HOW QUICKLY it can happen.They start to suffer much sooner than you might think. Please read carefully and be better informed. Spread the word and potentially save a life.
DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS
If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call the Police on 999
Just nipping to the shop? Leave the dog at home!
When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes.
Dogs are extremely sensitive to the heat and should never be left in a car alone, even on a mildly warm or cloudy day.
Dogs pant to keep cool. In hot stuffy cars dogs can’t cool down - leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens won’t keep your car cool enough.
Heatstroke - early warning signs
Heatstroke can be fatal. Some dogs are more prone than others:
- dogs with short snouts
- fatter/muscley dogs
- long-haired breeds
- old/young dogs
- dogs with certain diseases/on certain medication
Heatstroke develops when dogs can’t reduce their body temperature. Symptoms include:
- heavy panting
- profuse salivation
- rapid pulse
- very red gums/tongue
- lack of coordination
- reluctance/inability to rise after collapsing
- loss of consciousness.
This is why....
- ALWAYS consider the weather and your journey in advance, especially if you don't have air conditioning in your car. Think about whether the journey is absolutely necessary for your dog.
- ALWAYS make sure your dog has plenty of space in the car and isn't squashed or forced to sit in direct sunlight.
- ALWAYS make sure there is shade provided: even in an air conditioned car a dog can become too hot if in full sun.
- ALWAYS make sure plenty of stops are taken with lots of water available to drink.
- ALWAYS take cold water in a thermos rather than a plastic bottle so it stays cold rather than being lukewarm. Ice cubes are helpful in a thermos for cooling too.
- ALWAYS be aware of the signs of overheating in dogs, which include panting, disorientation, excessive thirst, dark gums, vomiting, diarrhoea and losing consciousness.
- NEVER leave a dog unattended in a car, even with the window open and water available. Take them out of the car and leave them in a secure, cool place with access to shade and water or take them with you.
- NEVER let your dog take part in unnecessary exertion in hot weather, or stand in exposed sunlight for extended lengths of time.
- NEVER pass by a dog if you see one suffering in a car. Whether it be in a supermarket car park or at a show, make sure you let someone in authority know and if in doubt call the police on emergency number 999 or if they are unable to attend call the RSPCA on
- 0300 1234 999 (options 3 then 1)
Heatstroke - first aid
Act quickly, heatstroke can be fatal! If dogs show any signs of heatstroke, move them to a shaded, cool area. Ring your vet immediately.
Urgently, gradually lower their body temperature:
- Immediately douse 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 dogs so much that they begin shivering.
Once your dog is cool, immediately go to the vet.
Warm Weather Tips
- Your dog must always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment.
- Never leave dogs alone in cars, glass conservatories or caravans even if it’s cloudy.
- If you do leave dogs outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where they can escape from the sun.
- Always provide good supplies of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that can’t be knocked over. Carry water with you on hot days.
- Groom dogs regularly to get rid of excess hair. Give long-coated breeds a haircut at the start of summer.
- Never allow dogs to exercise excessively in hot weather.
- Dogs can get sunburned – particularly those with light-coloured noses/fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.
What a good idea....
Cooling dog mats are available in various sizes and are activated by your dogs weight.