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Although heatwaves are few and far between on our ever-grey island, here is where you stand if you see a furry friend overheating in a car - and how you can help!
Bristol Street Motors

How to Rescue a Dog Left in a Hot Car

How to Rescue a Dog Left in a Hot Car

Let's face it, we rarely experience heatwaves in the UK, but when we 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!

But with great power comes great responsibility - and you should NEVER leave your four-legged friend in the car in hot weather. 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.

Dog in car in heatwave blog

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

What to do next

If the situation is critical and the police cannot attend quickly enough, most people wouldn't think twice about breaking into the car to help out a doggo. However, without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage, and you may have 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 ensure you get acquainted with anyone standing nearby. These witnesses, plus any other available evidence could be used to help defend yourself in Court if need be. 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.
- Immediately douse the dog with cool (not ice cold) water to avoid shock. If you have access to cool wet towels, or a fan, that's 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 from a qualified Vet.
- Pat yourself on the back for being a good human!

If the dog 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 leaving pets in cars. Spread the word and go give your pooch a cuddle for being the best!

If you are a dog-lover in need of a new car, take a look at our top cars for dog ownersAlternatively, keep an eye on our Newsroom for more useful tips and tricks.

Learn more this #DOGvember!