Temperatures across the UK have peaked and summer is truly here. Chickens are probably laying hard-boiled eggs and we’re at risk of being branded by our seat-belt buckles! But typical British weather means the sun is not always out, even if temperatures are in the early to mid-thirties.
Research conducted by Confused.com found that almost all drivers (97%) surveyed have left their pet in the car for 22 minutes on average. Dogs are loving creatures but doing this regularly might even stretch their loyalty. Worryingly on warmer days, a car sat in 24-degree heat can reach a sweltering 34 degrees Celsius in just 10 minutes, and a dangerous 43 degrees after just half an hour! Hardly a thoughtful way to treat man’s best friend.
More than half (56%) of UK drivers do not see the dangers of leaving a dog in a car, even if it is grey and cloudy. One third (33%) said they did not think a dog left alone in a car was at risk and chose not to intervene.
Leaving our furry-friends alone in a car on a hot day is far more common than expected. It feels like we are barking up the wrong tree as more than one in four dog-owning motorists has left their dog alone in the car. With more than half (57%) calling for owners of dogs left in cars on hot days to be fined. Currently, it is not illegal to leave a dog in a car, but it is an offence to abuse or mistreat an animal in your care.
There’s definitely room for trans-fur-mation 🙈.
What to do if you see a dog in a hot car
Our friends at Confused.com teamed up with the RSPCA to provide a step-by-step guide to advise drivers of what to do if they see a dog left alone in a car on a hot day. Check out our summary below!
Look for signs of heatstroke, these include:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive drooling
- Lack of coordination
- The dog is collapsed and vomiting
If the dog isn’t showing these signs, assess how long the dog has been in the car, for example, you may be able to read the time stamp on the car’s parking ticket.
Make a note of the vehicle’s registration, if the vehicle is parked outside a shop or event, a member of staff could make an announcement or monitor the dog’s condition.
Many do not know the best course of action to take, the RSPCA advises those who think the dog’s life is in danger to call the police.
What if the police can’t attend?
If you’ve dialled 999 and are speaking to the police, ask for their advice. Breaking the glass could be considered criminal damage (and it’s certainly not something we’d recommend), but the law states that you have a lawful reason to commit damage if you believe the owner of the property would consent if they knew the circumstances. If you think it’s justified and the police advise breaking the window, collect evidence. If the owner can see their animal was in distress, they may approve of your actions and you’ll have a stronger defence.
So remember, if you’re just ‘pup-ing’ out, don’t leave your dog in a car, sniff out a better solution. Terrible puns aside, if you’re travelling with your dog check out this blog with our 7 top tips!