As the warm weather continues, the RSPCA are urging people to take heed of their ‘Not long is too long’ campaign with regard to leaving dogs in hot cars. Even if it’s a cloudy day and it doesn’t seem overly warm outside, temperatures in a parked car can soar as the following two case studies show:
In this month’s ‘The Veterinary Nurse’, there’s an article about the subject, which includes an experiment an RSPCA officer carried out to see the difference between the outdoor temperature and the temperature inside a vehicle. This involved leaving a thermometer in his parked van for an hour. Whilst it was 15 degrees Celsius outside, within an hour, the temperature inside the van had risen to a staggering 43.5 degrees Celsius. Sadly, an article in the Vet Times this week gives a case study of an owner who left their 3 dogs in the car while at the gym. Temperatures outside were only between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius, but the car turned into an oven. By the time the police had called the RSPCA to the scene, tragically the 3 dogs had died.
You can never be too careful. Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle in warmer months. “Just a few minutes” could be too long. The slogan ‘Not long is too long’ applies to leaving dogs in conservatories and caravans too.
Should you see a dog shut in a hot car, the RSPCA’s Chief Veterinary Officer James Yeates advises that you call 999. The police can attend much more quickly than the RSPCA , and they also have powers of entry which RSPCA officers do not.
For more information about how to identify heatstroke, read our May blog
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, this is a medical emergency and your should contact a vet immediately.