If you are thinking of going out for the day or even just going to the shops then think very carefully about whether you take your dog as they should never be left alone in a car.
The temperature inside a car can be staggeringly different to outside. In fact when its 22℃/72℉ outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47℃/117℉ within 6 to10 minutes. Even if you leave a window open dogs cannot cool themselves down sufficiently to stop them suffering from heatstroke or even die an agonising death.
Even responsible dog owners can underestimate how lethal it can be travelling with your dog in the heat.
Consider the weather before setting out on any journey with your dog If it is going to be hot, think whether it is necessary to take them with you. If you have air conditioning then that can help.
Is your destination dog friendly because if you are out for the day you CANNOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR ALL DAY.
Ensure they have space to move about in the car and that they are not in direct sunlight.
Provide shade for your dog, even if you have airconditioning it can become too hot in full sun.
Take plenty of breaks from driving to allow your dog a drink and and walk round.
Keep their water cold by using a thermos or cool bag otherwise it will get warm if you keep it in a plastic bottle in your car. Ice cubes in a thermos is a good idea.
Never leave your dog in a car on their own even if you a have sunshield in the windscreen or leave a window open, leave them in a cool shady place outside that is secure and with adequate drinking water.
Never let your dog exercise excessively in hot weather or stand around in direct sunlight for long periods of time. However, they do still need and enjoy going for a walk but take them either early morning or later in the day when it is cooler for them.
if you see a dog in a car on a warm day then either make someone in authority aware or call the Police on 999 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999
Some tips for the warmer months – If we ever get any!!
Remember – never leave your dog in a glass conservatory or a caravan it is the same as leaving them in a car and even if it is cloudy when you leave, the sun may come out later and it will then become unbearably hot.
Dogs can get sunburned too, especially those with white or light coloured coats, ears and noses. They need to be protected. Your vet can offer safe advice on what to use.
HOT DOGS ARE NOT COOL IN CARS – REMEMBER
Heatstroke can be fatal. Do everything you can to prevent it.
The Early Warning Signs of Heatstroke
Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke than others – dogs that are very young or very old, overweight dogs, long haired breeds, dogs with shorter noses. Dogs that are on some types of medication and have other diseases can also be more prone.
If your dog is unable to reduce its own body temperature it will develop heatstroke. Here are some signs to look for –
☛ Heavy Panting
☛ Profuse salivation
☛ A rapid pulse
☛ Very red gums/tongue
☛ Lack of co-ordination
☛ Reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
☛ Loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances
First Aid for Heatstroke
If your dog does show any symptoms of heatstroke move them to a shady, cool area and ring your vet immediately as a matter of urgency. Heatstroke can be fatal and should be treated as an emergency.
Dogs suffering from heatstroke need to have their body temperature gradually lowered.
☛ Immediately try to cool your dog down with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock. If you can get to a shower then run cool water over them if not then use a spray filled with cool water and and try to get them into a breeze.
☛ Allow your dog to drink small amounts of cool water.
☛ Continue this until your dogs breathing shows signs of settling down (never let them get too cold that that they shiver) and then get straight to your Vet.