In Pawspective

Leaving your pet in a car during hot weather

Supposedly, despite all the rain we have recently had, it is our summer season. However, although it has been very wet, it has also been quite warm temperature wise and this is especially true in your vehicle.

Pet owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met through the Animal Welfare Act 2006 http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/welfare/act/index.htm.
The new Act keeps the previous "duty of care" imposed on a pet owner but also imposes a broader duty of care on anyone responsible for an animal to take reasonable steps to ensure that the animal’s needs are met. This means that a person has to look after the animal’s welfare as well as ensure that it does not suffer.

When we are out driving, it is sometimes easy to forget how warm it gets inside with the windows open, or air conditioning on. But when we stop, and these things are no longer open or in operation, the temperature inside rises, and quickly. The "small" errand into the local supermarket, could result in making your pet becoming dehydrated, overheating, or possibly even die and this can all occur within 10 minutes of leaving your car.

Once you have parked your car, whether or not it is in the shade, or has windows down, the temperature can double inside of it within a matter of minutes. And don't forget, your pet is sat inside wearing a fur coat! Pets cannot sweat, and cool down by way of panting, however once the critical temperature is reached their bodys thermoregulatory mechanisms fail causing circulatory collapse and organ damage. This often means that even if they receive veterinary care, your pet will ultimately die.

The latest result of this happening can be read on http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/28/handler-injured-police-dogs-die

Please be aware of this when you take your dog out in the car with you, it is something not always considered when you are in a rush or trying to multi task on a busy day. In line with the RSPCA’s message: ‘Dogs die in hot cars. Don’t leave your dog alone in a car.”

RSPCA Contact Number
If you need to report a dog left unattended and apparently distressed in a car during hot weather - ring 08705 555 999.