Dogs die in hot cars: Don’t leave your dog alone in a car!

South Somerset District Council’s Enforcement Officers are pleading with dog owners not to leave their pets in cars, after receiving several reports of distressed dogs in cars during the recent hot weather.

Dogs die in hot carsAn influx of calls from residents who are concerned about the welfare of a dog being left alone in a car has prompted South Somerset District Council to remind its residents not to leave dogs alone in a car.

Leaving your dog in a car can cause stress and injury to your dog, even if it’s for a short period of time. Each year, thousands of beloved companions succumb to heatstroke and suffocation when left in parked cars. It happens most often when people make quick stops – the dry cleaners, the bank or the local shop.

A spokesman for South Somerset District Council said, “When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes. Dogs pant to keep cool. In hot stuffy cars dogs can’t cool down – leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens won’t keep your car cool enough”.

South Somerset District Council does not have responsibility for animal welfare, this responsibility falls to the RSPCA, but our Enforcement Officers still look out for distressed dogs and will report any incidents such as dogs being left in cars to the Police and RSPCA.

If you see a distressed dog in a car on a warm day, call the Police on 101. If the police are unable to attend, please call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, Portfolio Holder for Environment said, “Leaving your dog on its own in a car to suffer in hot weather is an act of cruelty. Our Enforcement Officers will not hesitate to act and will do so by any means possible. The advice is simple – dogs die in hot cars; don’t leave your dog on its own in a car”.

Warm weather tips

  • Your dog must always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment.
  • Never leave dogs alone in cars, glass conservatories or caravans even if it’s cloudy.
  • If you do leave dogs outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where they can escape from the sun.
  • Always provide good supplies of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that can’t be knocked over.
  • Carry water with you on hot days.
  • Groom dogs regularly to get rid of excess hair.
  • Give long-coated breeds a haircut at the start of summer.
  • Never allow dogs to exercise excessively in hot weather.
  • Dogs can get sunburned – particularly those with light-coloured noses/fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.