VET’S VIEW: Never leave a dog in the car

ONE of my first ever emergencies was rescuing two dogs from a car on a hot summer’s day.

One was, tragically, already dying and the other, its brother, just made it.

But it is shocking that so many people still consider leaving dogs in cars whatever the weather.

We may be a nation of dog lovers, but it seems all too commonly we’re happy to put our four-legged friends at risk, as a recent survey by Dogs Trust shows.

It revealed more than two-thirds of us have witnessed dogs locked in cars on a sunny day – yet, worryingly, more than a third did nothing about it. Now the weather is hotter, temperatures can easily soar to more than 40 degrees Celsius in some parked vehicles, so dogs could die within minutes.

Hopefully, most of you are aware of this. But, if you’re not used to travelling with your pooch, never leave it alone in the car – even if it’s cool outside, it can become very hot, very quickly.

Parking in shaded areas and/or keeping windows slightly open doesn’t make it any safer – remember, shade often moves.

Make sure your dog is kept as cool as possible when driving – avoid travelling during the heat of the day and use sun blinds on windows, leaving them slightly ajar allowing a cooling breeze to circulate.

When travelling, bring a supply of clean, fresh, cold water, and know where you can stop for water breaks.

Buy a non-spill water bowl from your local pet shop. Dogs can’t cool down as effectively as humans, so suffer heat stroke and dehydration very quickly.

And, please, never forget – whatever the weather – dogs left in cars are at risk of being stolen. Finally, if you see a distressed dog in a car, please call 999.