Animal health and welfare groups warn: 'Dogs Die in Hot Cars’

08 July 2016

Last year, the RSPCA received 8,779 calls to report incidents of dogs suffering from heat exposure

As the weather heats up, BVA and a coalition of rescue, rehoming and vet-led charities, police, and welfare organisations are launching this year's Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving dogs - and other pets - in hot environments.

Every year, there are thousands of reports of dogs suffering from heat exposure - that equates to one call every hour. Heat exposure in dogs can include those outside who are suffering from the heat, or out in conservatories or caravans, however the majority of these incidents are dogs in hot cars.

Last year, the RSPCA received 8,779 calls to report incidents of dogs suffering from heat exposure, an increase of more than 3,000 calls compared to the numbers received in 2010.

BVA President Sean Wensley said, “Most people know that dogs should never be left in cars when it's hot, but it can be tempting to ignore advice if you think you won't be gone for long or that it isn't that hot outside. ‘Not long' versus not-at-all could make the difference between life and death for your dog.

"Leaving the car windows open and a bowl of water is not enough - a dog can only cool down through its tongue and paw pads so cannot react quickly enough to cope with the rapidly rising heat inside a car.

"We're proud to be supporting this campaign and hope it will encourage owners to think twice before leaving their dog in a car on a hot day.”

To raise awareness and highlight the real danger of leaving dogs in cars, even on a seemingly mild day, working with our partners, the RSPCA has made a short film about the shocking effects.

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What to do if you see a dog in a car on a hot day

On a hot day the temperatures inside a vehicle are over double those felt outside. For example, when it's 22C outside the temperature inside a car can reach more than double that (47C) within an hour, which can result in death for any dog trapped in there.

If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke - such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting - call 999 immediately and report a dog in a hot care to police.

You can call the RSPCA's 24-hour emergency cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 for advice but, if a dog is in danger, dialling 999 should always be the first step.

The campaign collation, formed in 2015, includes BVA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, Dog's Trust, The Kennel Club, The Mayhew Animal Home, National Animal Welfare Trust, The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), PDSA, RSPCA, #TeamOtis and Wood Green Animal Shelter.

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