Given these RSPCA’s figures:
1st-26th April 2011, calls received about 968 dogs and 281 other animals trapped in hot cars, buildings or gardens without shade (compared to 610 dogs and 81 other animals in 2010)
I thought it worthwhile copying the RSPCA’s advice below.
Our message is: ‘Dogs die in hot cars. Don’t leave your dog alone in a car.’
As an example, the temperature inside a vehicle can soar to 47°C (117°F) within 60 minutes, even when the outside temperature is just 22°C (72°F).
- Cloud cover can disappear quickly.
- All dogs will suffer, but some dogs are more prone to heatstroke. For example, dogs that are old, young, short nosed, long-haired, overweight or heavily muscled are more at risk, as well as dogs with certain diseases.
- Temperatures in air conditioned cars can reach the same temperature as outside within just five minutes of the air conditioning being turned off.
Watch out for signs of heat stroke
The most obvious sign of heat stroke in dogs is excessive panting and profuse salivation. Other signs include:
- Overly red or purple gums
- A rapid pulse
- Lack of co-ordination, reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing, seizures, vomiting or diarrhoea
- Coma or death in extreme instances.
Act with urgency
Owners who fear their dog may be suffering from heat stroke should act with great urgency. Pets should be moved to a cooler spot straight away before ringing your vet for advice immediately.
- Douse your dog with cool (not cold) water. You could put your dog in a shower and run cool water over him/her, spray your dog with cool water and place him/her in the breeze of a fan. Never cool your dog so much that he/she begins to shiver.
- Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water.
- Continue to douse your dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle and then take him/her straight to the veterinary surgery.
Under the Animal Welfare Act it is illegal to cause an animal unnecessary suffering. Penalties for doing so are a fine of up to £20,000 and/or a six month custodial sentence.