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Hot weather not cool for dogs in cars

With the current warm temperatures, here is a reminder of the dangers of leaving dogs unattended in cars in the hot months.

High temperatures are intensified through car windscreens and windows, and even with windows open, it can take just 20 minutes for dogs to suffer from heatstroke and die an agonising death. Even responsible dog owners can make the mistake of not realising just how lethal travelling in the heat with their dog can be. The soaring temperatures only intensify the problem dogs have when travelling in hot conditions. I would urge owners to only travel if they can ensure that their dog can be kept cool, and if their destination is dog friendly so they are not left in a vehicle. Tips for travelling with your dog ALWAYS

  • Actively seek dog-friendly places to go if you are travelling anywhere with your dog.

  • Consider the weather and your journey in advance, especially if you don’t have air conditioning in your car. Think about whether the journey for your dog is absolutely necessary.

  • Make sure your dog has plenty of space in the car and isn’t squashed or forced to sit in direct sunlight.

  • Make sure there is shade provided; even in an air conditioned car a dog can become too hot if in full sun.

  • Make sure plenty of stops are taken with lots of water available to drink.

  • Take cold water in a thermos rather than a plastic bottle so it stays cold rather than being lukewarm. Ice cubes are helpful in a thermos for cooling too.


  • Leave a dog unattended in a car, even with the window open and water available. Take them out of the car and find a secure, cool place with access to shade and water.

  • Let your dog take part in unnecessary exertion, or stand in exposed sunlight for extended lengths of time.

  • Pass by a dog if you see one suffering in a car. Whether it be in a supermarket car park or at a show, make sure you let someone in authority know.

Marina Gates Fleming is a canine consultant working in Belgium.

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