This summer is usually hot and sunny weather. Summer weather can be changeable and even on cloudy days the heat from the sun is strong. It only takes a short time for a dog to suffer the effects of being left in a car or in any place where a cool spot is not provided.
Most people are aware of the effects of summer heat in a car where extreme temperatures are quickly reached. Even if a dog has been left in a car with its windows open or has been left in the shade it is still not safe! 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. The same can apply to a conservatory or other rooms and the garden.
Under 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog should its body temperature exceed 41°C. When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes. At 26°c outside it can reach 37°c in just 10 mins! Dogs overheat quickly which means they could be at serious risk in only a short time.
If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call the Police on 999. If the police are unable to attend, please call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999.
Symptoms of Heatstroke
If a dog is showing any of these symptoms it may be that they are suffering from heat stroke, dehydration or even sun burn.
- Excessive panting
- Red gums and tongue
- Heavy salivation
- Vomiting / diarrhoea
- Lack of co-ordination
- Loss of consciousness
Some dogs are more likely to be affected by heat than others.
- dogs with short snouts
- fatter/muscley dogs
- long-haired breeds
- old/young dogs
- dogs with certain diseases/on certain medication
More advice on this subject, including actions to take, can be found on the RSPCA site here
DON’T LEAVE DOGS IN CARS – dogs die in hot cars!