We all love the heat and the sun, well most of us do. Dogs can find heat a little bit more unsettling. Canine physiology means dogs only really have a couple of ways to cool down, they can pant and they can sweat through their paws. It’s not much but its generally enough to get dogs through most hot days, but if you leave your pooch in a hot car all bets are off.
The truth dogs can die in hot cars within a matter of minutes. In our enlightened world of the internet you’d think this fact was common knowledge, but the truth is the RSPCA still receive a 1000 calls a year related to dogs trapped in cars.
So what do you do if you see a dog stuck in a car on a hot day? Well since you asked.
- Call the police – Do this straight away take a note of the registration number of the car and call it in. You can always call them back if the owner shows up.
- Assess the dog’s state. Is the animal calm or agitated? Is it despondent? The condition of the dog is of paramount importance if it seems relaxed then proceed through these steps, if on the other hand it is not responding or appears extremely agitated go straight to step 5
- Try to contact the owner. It is likely that the owner is nearby. Look for the most obvious place. A large store or maybe a shopping centre. If you can try and have the store security make a tannoy announcement and if possible leave someone with the dog.
- Try to create some shade. A shady spot may just be cool enough to save a dog in a hot car. Dog’s are clever creatures, if you can cover a window or the boot with a jacket or something the animal will find the shade and settle in it.
- If you are concerned for the state of the dog and you believe you have no other choice then break a window. Find an implement and cover the glass with your jacket before attempting to break it. It might sound extreme, but car windows are not too expensive to repair and if the dog owner cares about their dog at all, you will probably find them grateful for saving its life.
Here’s a short video from PETA which might help.