We see it again and again and again, and even more than that. Over and over, the news, TV coverage and social media viral posts, all tell us not to leave dogs in hot cars. It’s not as if it’s never talked about, yet year after year, stories come into the media, about dogs dying after being left in hot cars, or irate car owners annoyed at people who challenge them, and foul mouth the police who’ve smashed their car windows to get at a dying animal.
What does that say about us as a nation of animal lovers? According to the Dog Trust, temperatures in a parked car, can quickly reach over 40°C. All it takes is a couple of minutes of those temperatures, and your animal could easily die, even if you have left the window cranked open a little, and a bowl of water.
I know I’ve seen many dogs left in cars on hot days, and the owners just don’t seem to think anything will happen to them. I’ve waited with a couple of dogs, and been on the verge of calling police due to distress of the dog starting, when one owner returned, giving me a mouthful of abuse for standing close to her car.
I don’t think I’m alone in having seen a dog in a car on a hot day, even here in Aberdeen. It happens a lot.
- Would you wait with a dog if you see it locked in a car on a hot day?
- Would you call the police?
- Would you break into the car?
The Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, says that in a survey, more than 25% of dog owners said they left their dogs unattended in cars.
Have you ever got into your car on a hot day, when the seats have been boiling, or the dashboard is too hot to touch? That’s how hot your dog in, inside and out when you leave them, even on a day when the weather isn’t scorching.
Animal charities say that less than 20 minutes can be fatal to a dog in a car, and that isn’t just a dog, also think cat, small animal and child too.
Let’s think about that. Less than 20 minutes can be fatal…… It’s all about the body temperature exceeding 40°C.
The AA tested how long it would take a 7kg chocolate dog to melt on an overcast day in July, and the temperature inside the car reaches 42.8°C.
On a sunny day, the temperature reached oven heat proportions of 60°C. That’s eyewatering. It means your pet is literally beginning to boil from the inside out, like a cake, from the moment it is left. Within a few minutes, panting begins, possibly whimpering and distress is evident.
It’s an unpleasant, unnecessary, and totally avoidable death.
Share this leaflet with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, in fact anywhere that people might be reading and needs to understand the dangers of dogs in hot cars and just how quickly disaster can strike.
If you must take your dog with you:
- Don’t leave your dog alone in the car.
- Don’t be tempted to leave the window open a little and park in the shade. It won’t protect your pet.
- Travel at cooler times of the day.
- Take plenty water with you, and a bowl you can use for your dog. You can also use the water to wet towels and rub your dog down to try and help it cool off.
- Brush your dog to allow trapped hot air in the coat to be released.
If you find or see a distressed dog in a car:
- Call 999 in the UK, and report it to the police. They will instruct you.
- Another option is call the RSPCA in England and Wales ( 03001 234999) or the Scottish RSPCA (03000 999999)
If you are there when the dog is taken out of the car, check with a vet immediately.