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10 ways to ensure your dogs don’t overheat in hot cars this summer

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July 18, 2018
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During the summer hot cars can be killers for pet dogs.

Temperatures this summer have already hit the 30s with forecasters warning us to expect more of the same extremely hot weather into August.

That’s hot enough to get even the coolest of canines hot under the collar on a car journey.

dogs in hot cars

Little Leo, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is treated like a king and keeps cool when he’s travelling in the car.

Surge in RSPCA calls about dogs in hot cars

The heatwave has already led to a surge in calls to the RSPCA from people concerned about the welfare of dogs that have been left in cars.

Temperatures can rise very quickly in a car when it is moving – it rises even more quickly when the car is stationary.

Even when parked in the shade at a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius outside, the temperature inside can rocket to 47 degrees in under an hour. The dog’s body temperature will rise and it could be fatal.

No one wants to see a dog suffer. If you see a dog in a car on a warm day and you are concerned for its welfare, alert the police or the RSPCA.

Officers may use force to break into a car to prevent an animal from suffering.

The animal’s welfare should be your primary concern and it may be kinder to simply leave a dog at home or with friends or a neighbour.

Top tips on keeping dogs cool in hot cars

If you really have to take your dog out for a drive on a hot day, here are some tips on keeping it cool.

  1. Leave the window open a little to allow fresh air to circulate
  2. Always carry food and water to keep the dog hydrated
  3. Use a good quality dog restraint such as a pet barrier or seat belt
  4. Take regular breaks to water and exercise the dog
  5. Don’t let a dog hang its head outside car windows, no matter how much they enjoy it
  6. Make sure the dog is used to the car by making several short trips before a long one
  7. Keep a close eye on your pet to make sure they are not showing signs of travel-related stress such as sickness, barking, salivating, or restlessness
  8. Make sure there aren’t any loose items that could harm your dog in the boot or on the back seat in the event of you having to brake suddenly
  9. Bring the dog’s favourite blanket or toy to help it relax
  10. Dogs travel better without a full stomach so feed them at least two hours before you set off.

And don’t forget…

Never, ever leave your dog alone in the car on a hot day, even if you have left the window open a little.

And if you see a dog locked in a hot car and you fear for its well-being, call the police or the RSPCA cruelty line.

Here are some Adrian Flux tips on keeping your horse cool while in transit.

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