What to do when you find a dog in a hot car?

When is a car too hot for a dog?

It is a common fact that dogs become unwell when left in a hot car, as well as animals struggling in high temperatures.

Around 3.2 million households got a new pet in 2020. The UK estimates it will have 12 million dogs in 2021.

The majority of the people are unaware of the laws to take if you find a dog in distress in a hot car. Some hesitate to dial 999 while others rely on the RSPCA. Here are some laws to help you deal with such situations.

Steps to take when you find a dog in distress

First, if the dog is okay, but you are concerned that his condition will worsen if he is kept inside the car for any length of time, call the RSPCA. If the dog is indicating signs of heatstroke, record the event on your smartphone. After that call the police and act on their advice.

Assessing the situation objectively is very important. It can be incredibly easy to get emotional and turn towards extreme action, but it’s important to look at the facts in front of you.

Calling for help is always the first point of call, however, sometimes it is necessary to intervene immediately. If the car is locked, many will assume that it is okay to break a car window.

Dogs are also considered property in the eyes of the law. When you are taking action to protect the property of the car owner it may come under a valid reason to break a window.

The last option should be breaking the window of the car to rescue the dog and you should tell the police about your actions before you commit to breaking it.

Pet expert advice

Peggie, a pet expert, says that your pet does not remain cool even if you leave the window open. Cars are made of metal and can turn into an oven if left in the heat. A slightly opened window will in no way provide the required ventilation for a furry pet anyway. Peggie is confused by the idea that if a human cannot sit stationary in a car with the windows slightly down to stay calm then how can a pet do so.

The signs of heatstroke in a dog include high heart rate, drooling, heavy panting, and vomiting. If you encounter a dog in such a condition pour some cold water over it. Use wet towels to cover them and feed them with water. Let the dog take its time to cool down. Then seek emergency vet help.

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