#DogsDieInHotCars: how to join the campaign

Did you know that the inside of your car can reach up to a scorching 47 degrees? While this would be an ideal environment for warming up your lunch, it’s certainly a less-than-ideal environment for your pup. In fact, leaving your dog in the car on a summer’s day (even if parked in the shade) can be extremely uncomfortable for them and can cause serious health issues such as dehydration and heatstroke. 

As a veterinary professional, it’s a great time of year to remind pet owners of these dangers and how to treat a dog that has become overheated and unwell. 

Carry on reading to find out how to get involved and spread the word about the #DogsDieInHotCars campaign.

How can I help a dog who has been left in a hot car? 

While your immediate reaction might be to smash the windows of the car with the endangered dog inside, it is important to remember that this could be legally classed as damage to personal property. 

Your first course of action is to call 999 as soon as you spot a dog that is at risk of getting heatstroke. 

In the meantime, you can decide whether the animal is at immediate risk and then you may wish to set it free. Just bear in mind that you will likely need to defend your actions in court so make sure to have eyewitnesses and even record a video explaining why breaking into the car is a necessity. If the dog owner would consent to you saving their dog (even if it means breaking a car window) then it is legal. 

Once the dog is free you should assess its condition and follow this guidance published by the RSPCA.

What are the tell-tale signs of heatstroke? 

  • Drowsiness
  • Panting
  • Drooling (a lot)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Collapsing 
  • Being sick

How can I support the #DogsDieInHotCars campaign? 

As a vet, the best way you can help support the #DogsDieInHotCars campaign is to share the above information with your clients and reiterate the importance of keeping dogs cool and safe during the summertime.

You can also get involved by:

  • Sharing the #DogsDieInHotCars hashtag on social platforms
  • Showing your support for the #DogsDieInHotCars campaign on Twitter
  • Downloading the #DogsDieInHotCars poster here and display it in your practice 

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