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Pet-owners warned of danger of leaving dogs in hot cars

3 minute read
Pet-owners warned of danger of leaving dogs in hot cars

Published at 6:00am 21st June 2017. (Updated at 1:10pm 21st June 2017)

Pet owners in Surrey and Hampshire are being warned of the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars.

The RSPCA has released a hard-hitting video in a bid to reach pet owners during the heat. 

The charity is reminding people across the country of the dangers of pets overheating.

The UK’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity is launching its annual Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign.

It comes as our area enters Day 3 of a Met Office Health Heatwave Alert.

The Amber warning is the second highest level and temperatures have reached over 30 degrees over the last few days. 

'Cars become like ovens within minutes'

Chris Gray, Veterinary Surgeon at Alder Veterinary Practice in Guildford said: "Even with the windows open it can be a risk. People think I'm just popping into a shop it will be fine, for example. 

"But the temperature in a car - especially on these really hot days can get to oven temperature, within minutes and it can be very, very dangerous for the dogs inside."

"Even at other times of the year, dogs in cars is not a good idea - and dogs can very easily get heat-stroke."

If your dog does overheat, or show the signs of heatstroke, you need to take them to the vets immediately.


"Little things you can do on the way there, is make sure your air con is on full blast in the car as you go in there. 

"It can be an idea to gently cool the dog. Don't put the dog in an ice cold bath as you'll actually worsen things. 

"It needs to be cool water, not ice cold water, just to cool them down." 

And what should you do if you spot a dog in a hot car?

Chris said: "If the police can't attend or the RSCPA can't attend or they're too far away and the situation's looking critical - the instinct would be to break into the car.

"One must be careful about criminal damage, for example, so it's a good idea to get witnesses, take photographs - but ultimately the welfare of the dog should be our primary concern."

Top tips to keep your dogs calm and cool:

- Walk your dogs first thing in the morning, or late at night when it's cooled down

- Avoid the middle of the day sun

- Keep them in the coolest part of the house

- Keep them out of the direct sunlight

- Cool them down gently with water

- Avoid too much excitement 

66-year-old Jonathan Theobald's three dogs died after he left them in a car for four hours.

It was a warm day on 16 June 2016, but it was overcast and wasn’t particularly hot.


WATCH: Jonathan's heart-breaking story


In 2016, the RSPCA’s emergency hotline received 7,187 calls about animals in hot environments - the majority of which were regarding dogs.

While down from the previous year (8,779), the number is still worryingly high considering the charity’s key advice is for people to call 999.



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