DogCast Radio
Home Episodes Articles Blog Breed profiles Book reviews Photos Contact

RSPCA finds heat exposure in dogs is a hot topic

After just one week of warm weather the animal charity has already received 241 calls between April 14 and April 19
The RSPCA has received 241 calls in six days, with 105 of those just on April 19, after temperatures in Britain began to soar.
The animal welfare charity records these calls as heat exposure in dogs which can include those outside who are suffering from the heat, or dogs in conservatories or caravans but the majority of these incidents are dogs in hot cars.

The RSPCA received 7,199 calls about dogs suffering from heat exposure last year (2017) - and across the summer months it equated to almost two calls every hour*.

Head of the RSPCA’s Companion Animal department Dr Samantha Gaines said: “It’s shocking to think that already we are receiving hundreds of calls relating to dogs suffering in the heat.

“This is completely preventable - please consider leaving your dog at home or taking your dog out with you - but never leave your dog in the car when the weather is warm.

“Many people think it will be fine just to leave their pets for a minute or two but we know that this is all it takes for temperatures inside a car to soar to dangerous levels.

“Dogs die in hot cars - don’t let your pet be one of the number.”

Rescue and rehoming charities, veterinary associations, police, and welfare organisations are all working together on a campaign to ensure owners know the dangers the warm weather can pose to dogs.

The British Parking Association is the latest member to join the campaign which also has the support of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, British Veterinary Association (BVA), Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club, Mayhew, National Animal Welfare Trust, The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), PDSA, RSPCA, TeamOtis-UK and Wood Green The Animals Charity.

RSPCA chief vet James Yeates said: “A hot car can be a death trap for dogs, it is as simple as that. Leaving your dog in a car, even on an average warm, even cloudy day, can put your pet at huge risk of suffering and even death.
“This is not a new warning, but sadly too many people still don’t appreciate how dangerous it can be to leave a dog in a hot car, conservatory or caravan.

“We would urge dog owners to consider whether it would be best for their pet to stay at home, or whether they are able to keep their dog with them while they are out and to make sure their pet has plenty of access to shade and fresh water throughout the day when they do.”
The temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C (117°F) within minutes, even when the outside temperature is just 22°C (72°F). Opening a window or leaving a bowl of water for your dog isn’t enough and still leaves dogs in serious danger of suffering from heatstroke, which can be fatal.

The most obvious sign of heat stroke in dogs is excessive panting and profuse salivation. Other signs include overly red or purple gums; a rapid pulse; lack of co-ordination; reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing, seizures, vomiting or diarrhoea and in extreme circumstances coma or death.

Owners who fear their dog may be suffering from heat stroke should act with great urgency. Pets should be moved to a cooler spot straight away before ringing your vet for advice immediately.

Under the Animal Welfare Act it is illegal to cause an animal unnecessary suffering. Penalties for doing so are a fine of up to £20,000 and/or a six month custodial sentence.

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

In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to 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 - such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting - call 999 immediately.

If the situation becomes critical and police can’t attend, many people’s instinct is to break into the car to free the dog. But please be aware that, without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage. Make sure you tell the police of your intentions and take photos or footage of the dog as well as names and numbers of witnesses. 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.

Once removed from the car, move the dog to a shaded/cool area and pour small amounts of room-temperature water over their body. Don’t use cold water as this could put your pet into shock. Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water. Once the dog is cool take him the to nearest vet as a matter of urgency.

If the dog isn’t displaying signs of heatstroke, establish how long the dog has been in the car and make a note of the registration. Ask a member of staff to make an announcement of the situation over the tannoy, if possible, and get someone to stay with the dog to monitor its condition.

You can call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 for advice but, if a dog is in danger, dialling 999 should always be the first step.

Comments

Sharing

221 - Stop importing puppies and dogs who found romance for their human

Lucy Parkinson and TV vet Marc Abraham discuss the petition Lucy started to stop the exploitative importing of puppies into the UK. Writer Cath Jenkin reveals the spooky way her Border Collie brought brought happiness, romance and a new home into her life. Plus the DogCast Radio News.

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.