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Why you should never leave your dog in the car on a hot day

Dog in car

It seems as though Summer has finally arrived for many of us across the UK, but with highs in the late 20's in many areas this bank holiday weekend, it’s important to remember the dangers of leaving a pet in the car.

When it’s hot outside, it’s even hotter in a parked car - the temperature can rise extremely quickly. To give you an idea, if it’s 22 degrees outside, it can rise to 47 degrees inside a car within 1 hour. Many people still don’t seem to be aware of the dangers of doing this, but the reality is, it is extremely dangerous and could threaten your dog’s life.

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

Initially, the best course of action would be to try and find the owner of the vehicle/dog. However, in an emergency, this would differ.

Anthony Joynes, an RSPCA Inspector said: “In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to the police. The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident. If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke… call 999 immediately.”

It is often people’s instinct is to break into the car and free the dog from it if the police aren’t able to get there quickly enough or the dog’s state is getting worse, however, without suitable justification this could be classed as criminal damage. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.

If you decide to do this, make sure you inform the police of what you intend to do and why, take photo/videos of the dog and the names/contact information of any witnesses’ present.

The RSPCA offer emergency first aid advice to follow if the dog is displaying signs of heatstroke when it’s been removed from the car: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/health/dogsinhotcars/heatstroke