With the Summer in full swing and the typical Yorkshire weather providing us with a mixture of hot days and dull rainy ones, it is important to remember the dangers of leaving your pet alone in a car, caravan or glass conservatory.
When it is 22 degrees C outside, the temperature in your car can reach 47 degrees C within 60 minutes. When the weather is as unpredictable as it is in Huddersfield, you could park your car in cloudy conditions but return to disaster.
Dogs pant to keep cool. In hot stuffy cars, dogs can’t cool down and leaving a window open or a sunshield on the windscreen will not keep your car cool enough.
Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke than others. Dogs with short snouts, fat dogs, long haired breeds, young or old dogs and dogs with certain diseases or dogs on certain medications are more susceptible.
Heatstroke develops when dogs can’t reduce their body temperature and the symptoms include: heavy panting, profuse salivation, rapid pulse, very red gums/tongue, lethargy, lack of coordination, collapse, vomiting, diarrhoea and loss of consciousness.
Heatstroke can be fatal so it is essential to act quickly. If your dog shows signs of heat stroke, move them to a shaded, cool area. Call your Vet for advice. You need to rapidly, but gently, reduce their body temperature so douse them in cool (not cold) water to avoid shock. A shower is ideal for this. Then place them in the breeze of a fan. Let them drink small amounts of cool water. Continue to douse them until their breathing settles but before they start to shiver.
Remember, your dog must always be able to move into a cooler ventilated environment. Never leave dogs alone in cars, conservatories or caravans, even if it is cloudy. Outside dogs must have a cool shady spot to shelter from the sun. Always provide a good supply of drinking water. Groom your pet regularly to get rid of excess hair. Never allow your pet to exercise excessively in hot weather.