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Dogs die in hot cars

Don’t leave your dog alone in a car.

When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes.

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.
Dog in hot car
If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call the Police. If the police are unable to attend, please call local rescue centre.

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
lethargy
lack of coordination
reluctance/inability to rise after collapsing
vomiting
diarrhoea
loss of consciousness.

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.
Dogs die in hot cars

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