Remember, hot cars kill dogs | Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust

Remember, hot cars kill dogs

With temperatures expected to rise this weekend, and an even hotter Easter in sight, Dogs Trust is reminding dog owners of the dangers of leaving their pets in parked cars.

Did you know?

Under 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog, should its body exceed 41°C. Within a matter of minutes, as the temperature rises in your car, your dog’s suffering will become evident through excessive panting, whimpering or barking. This will then develop into a loss of muscle control and ultimately their kidneys will cease to function, the brain will become damaged and their heart will stop.

To make everyone aware of just how quickly your dog can be affected, the Dogs Trust Veterinary team have given their top tips.

  • Don’t leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes – even if it seems cool outside it can become very hot, very quickly. Parking in the shade and/or keeping the windows down does not make it safe!
  • If you see a dog in distress in a parked car, please call the Police on 999. If the police are unable to attend, please call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999
  • Make sure you keep your dog as cool as possible when driving. Avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds on the windows and consider opening a window a little to allow a cooling breeze to circulate in the vehicle
  • Make sure you have a supply of water and know where you can stop off on the way for water breaks. Dogs are not able to cool down as effectively as humans, so can suffer from heat stroke and dehydration very quickly
  • If you are present at the rescue of a dog from a hot car that is clearly in distress, seek immediate veterinary advice. The very first priority is to prevent the dog from getting any hotter, attempt to provide shade from the sun and move to a cooler area. Dampening the dog down with cool (not freezing) water will help start to bring the body temperature down
  • Wet towels can be used to cool a dog but these must be regularly changed or spraying them down with water and placing them in front of the air conditioning vent to enhance evaporation on the way to the emergency appointment

In 2014 Dogs Trust launched its ‘Hot Cars Kill Dogs’ campaign to highlight the danger. In 2015, the video won the award for ‘Best Use of Video’ at the PR Moment Awards!