It’s September and as crucial as ever to highlight the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars.
Hundreds of such incidents are reported in Cornwall each year, and despite our efforts to spread the word on this issue, Devon and Cornwall Police received a shocking 35 reports across the county during the August Bank Holiday weekend alone.
There doesn’t have to be a scorching summer sun outside for the temperatures inside a car to soar and pose a life-threating risk.
Warms days are just as dangerous and even leaving all four car windows down will no regulate the heat inside a vehicle.
The Kernow Veterinary Group has five surgeries across Cornwall and its vets have to deal with heartbreaking cases of heatstroke in dogs.
Nicky Paull, who is veterinary director at the group, says that high temperatures can result in a range of symptoms that require immediate medical care, and this can affect all dogs both in and outside a car.
Commenting on cases that the group has dealt with, she said: “Some are caused by an elderly dog with heart or breathing problems getting too hot and not being able to cool off.
“Some are dogs that go out for walks in the heat of the day and simply just do too much and over heat.
“The worst cases though are where dogs have been left in a car in sunny weather who then literally ‘cook’ in the excessive heat inside a hot car.”
Heatstroke can be spotted in different ways and poses a serious threat to health very quickly. Nicky said:”Symptoms can vary from just a bit of distress right up to collapse. And for the extreme cases, even with prompt veterinary attention, sadly death can follow.
“If we get involved in treatment early, the chances of a successful outcome are better. The most important initial care involves cooling with cold water washing and wrapping in towels soaked in cold water.
“For severe cases, intravenous fluid therapy given quickly in the early stages is also important. If there are no underlying problems then as long as we can get the dog through the acute phase then, hopefully, there will be no further problems post recovery.”
Some dogs are at more of a risk than others. Nicky added: “With some of our older patients it can cause quite severe setbacks to their ongoing health. And don’t forget that animals like bulldogs, pekes, and pugs with squashed faces are far more likely to get heat stroke if they suffer with restricted airways.”
“So make sure you keep your dog cool, never over exercise in hot weather and never ever leave your dog in a hot car – because Dogs Die in Hot Cars.”
Our campaign with Carrs Volkswagen & Helston Garages is raising awareness of this important issue by encouraging the public to send in pictures of their pets looking and feeling cool.
We have received hundreds of entries to our ‘How Cool Is Your Dog This Summer’ photo competition so far and you can still get your pictures in.
The photo with the most public votes at the end of September will win £250 worth of supermarket vouchers. Voting will commence later in the month.
Click here to submit your cool dog entry
Vespa says: Don’t leave your dog in the car alone, they will be safe and sound left at home.