Let's face it, we rarely experience heatwaves in the UK but when we do, by gum do we make the most of it! Cue chucking the kids, your partner, half the contents of your house and the dog in the car in search of the perfect picnic spot. Magic!
But with great power comes great responsibility and you should NEVER leave your four-legged, furry friend in the car in hot weather, whether you are on a day trip or popping out for some milk. Here is how to be a hero and help any canines in distress.
If you spot a dog in a car in hot weather, and it seems to be suffering from heatstroke, call 999. The police can gain access to the vehicle in an emergency situation and they will also inform animal welfare.
How do you know if a dog is suffering from heatstroke?
The dog may be;
* Panting heavily
* Drooling excessively
* Lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
* Collapsed or vomiting
If the situation is critical and the police cannot attend quickly enough,
most people wouldn't think twice about breaking in the car to help a doggo, HOWEVER without proper justification it could be classed as criminal damage and you may be asked to defend yourself in Court.
Let the police know what you are going to do and why, take a few quick pictures and videos and make sure you get acquainted with the people standing looking at you with their smartphones out. These witnesses plus any other evidence will help you defend yourself in Court. You have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe the owner would have given consent if present.
Once you have liberated the overheating hound, follow these steps;
* Try to find a shaded, cool area to place them.
* You should immediately douse the dog with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock. If you have access to cool, wet towels or a fan, even better!
* Give the dog small sips of cool water.
* Keep dousing the dog until its breathing starts to settle but never to the point the dog is shivering.
* Seek medical attention by a qualified veterinarian.
* Pat yourself on the back for being a good human.
If the dog in question isn't displaying signs of heatstroke, there are still things you can do to help out;
* Try to work out how long the dog has been left in the car, from a parking ticket for example.
* Take a note of the car registration; even if the owner comes back, you can report them, if you wish to do so.
* If you are near any shops or businesses, you could ask a staff member to make an announcement as the owner may be in that building.
* If it's possible, get someone to stay with the dog and if it becomes an emergency situation, they can call 999.
* You can give our friends at the RSPCA a call on their 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999. They will give you advice on what is best for the pooch.
Although it may seem like common sense, it may not be obvious to everyone about the dangers of leavings pets in cars during a heatwave. Spread the word and go give your pooch a cuddle for being the best!