I have been shocked this summer to find how many dog owners are unaware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a parked car on a warm day. As the DogsTrust rightly says, You May as Well Leave Your Dog in an Oven. They have found that more than one in 10 people know of a dog that has come to harm left in a parked car in hot weather. What’s even more shocking is that almost half of us (48%) mistakenly believe it is OK to leave a dog in a car if counter-measures are taken (window open or parked in shade). It is NEVER safe to leave a dog in a car on a warm day.
Here are the cold hard facts:
Less than 20 minutes in a hot parked car can prove fatal to a dog if its body temperature goes above 41°C. ( A dog’s normal temperature is between 38°C & 39.2°C As the temperature inside the car rises, in just a matter of minutes, the dog’s suffering will become evident through excessive panting, whimpering or barking. This will develop into a loss of muscle control and ultimately the kidneys will cease to function, the brain will become irreversibly damaged and the heart will stop.
Here are some more shocking facts that show how our dogs are put in danger every day: Britons are far more likely to leave their dog in a car alone for a few minutes (28%) than their phone (10%). More than a quarter of UK dog owners admit to leaving their dog alone in parked cars. AA call outs to rescue dogs locked in parked cars have increased by 50% in past six years. AA Patrol of the Year, Mark Spowage comments:“The dangers are obvious; you just have to touch the dashboard or seats to know how hot the inside of a car can get. But it’s not just on warm days when dogs are at risk – vehicles can be death-traps even in cooler temperatures.
If you leave your dog in a parked car, this is what can happen: the Police or RSPCA will be called. Before they arrive, your car windows may be smashed by a member of the public to ensure your dog’s welfare. When the Police or RSPCA reach the scene you may be fined or summoned to appear in court for cruelty to your dog. The choice is yours – leave your dog at home, or take him with you when you park the car. If you decide to leave a dog in a car, you now know the risks and the consequences.