Never leave dogs unattended in cars.
Leaving a dog in a car can cause suffering/death even in merely warm weather on an average day with cloud cover.
A dog’s normal body temperature is around 39°C/102°F. With an outside temperature of just 22°C/72°F this can rise up to 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes. A dog may experience brain damage at body temperatures of 41°C/106°F.
Even when water is provided and the windows are wound down, the dog may be in serious danger of sunstroke, regardless of health and age. Be mindful that clouds can disappear very quickly.
If your dog is left outside, then make sure that it has access to drinking water and a cool shady spot where it can escape from the sun.
Whilst being transported
- Consider the weather or journey in advance; is the journey necessary in warm weather?
- When you are driving, make sure that the dog is sat in the shade or near a partially opened window
- Give your dog space, away from direct sunlight
- Take regular breaks on long journeys
- It is recommended that drinking water is given from a thermos flask, rather than a bottle, so it stays cool rather than lukewarm
Signs of heatstroke in dogs
- Excessive panting
- Profuse salivation
- Rapid pulse
- Overly red/purple gums
- Lack of co-ordination
- Reluctance/inability to rise
- Seizures, vomiting, diarrhoea
- Coma or death
In the event of suspected heatstroke in dogs
- The dog should be moved to a cooler area
- Douse the dog with cool water (not cold) and not to the point where the dog starts to shiver. Continue dousing until breathing starts to settle
- Let the dog drink small amounts of cool water.
- Contact a vet for further advice
Legislation - Animal Welfare Act 2006
It is an offence to cause an animal to suffer, whether it is an action or failure to act by the offender.
Allowing the animal to suffer carries the penalty of a fine up to £20,000 and/or 6 months custodial sentence, adverse publicity and a criminal record.
Police and authorised officers from the local council have the powers to break into any vehicle when animals are suffering.