I have already written about the dangers to dogs in cars in Summer. Here is a bullet-point checklist from the Dogs Trust:
1. Never leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes- even if it seems cool outside , the inside of a car can become very hot very quickly. Parking in the shade and/or keeping the windows down does not make it safe. You would find it uncomfortable to sit in a parked car yourself with the engine off, and it is the same for your dog! When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes. Dogs pant to keep cool. In hot stuffy cars dogs can’t cool down – leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens will not keep your car cool enough.
2. If you see a dog in distress in a parked car call the Police Service (101) or the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999. (SSPCA in Scotland)
3. 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 when travelling, and consider opening a window a little to allow a cooling breeze to circulate in the vehicle during the journey.
4. When you drive with your dog, make sure you have a supply of water and know where you can stop off en route for water breaks. Dogs cannot cool down as effectively as humans so they can suffer from heat stroke and dehydration very quickly
5. 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. Offer them a large deep bowl of water to drink. Dampening the dog down with cool (but 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 changed regularly. You can also spray them down with water and place them in front of the air conditioning vent to enhance evaporation on the way to the emergency appointment.