Dogs in Hot Cars – Don’t Risk It!

Author picture Jessica

The warm weather is finally hitting in the UK and we love it! But sadly this comes at a cost with the increase of accidental locking of pets in hot cars. This is something we at Pawshake want to avoid entirely - our fur kids are worth it!

Causes can be as simple as human error (such as locking keys in cars and new automatic locking technology) or simply excitable pets jumping and knocking internal locks. 

So pet sitters and pet owners, this is for you. If you’re armed with knowledge and you spread the word amongst your friends and family, we can bring awareness and prevent incidents like this from happening!

Some handy tips include -

• If it's hot - don't risk it. Leave your pet at home. 

• Always bring water in the car and a bowl for your pet.

• Leave the driver door ajar or window down when packing things into your car or moving away from the car.

• Place your keys in a clothes pocket or somewhere close to your body.

• Try to keep your keys in the same safe place every time - focus on where you put them, particularly when taking a phone call, carrying items to the car or placing a child in a car seat.

• Don’t rush because another driver is waiting for the parking space.

• Visit the RSPCA and do some research so you understand what to do in an emergency.

• Speak to your friends, neighbours and pet sitting clients to raise awareness.

And if you see a pet locked in a car –

• Make note of the car’s make, model and license plate number.

• Notify any businesses nearby, or if in a shopping centre try to notify ground staff and security. 

• If the owner can't be found, call the police on 999 and wait by the car for them to arrive. The dog ideally should be taken to a vet for emergency treatment (a tip - don’t try to cool the dog down too rapidly with ice packs or loose ice – water, damp towels and shade are preferred).

• Ring the RSPCA emergency contact on the following number - 0300 1234 999 

It’s super important to understand that a coolish day DOES NOT mean a cool car – and that winding a window down for a quick trip into the shops won’t significantly lower the temperature inside your car. It can take less than 10 minutes for the interior of a car to more than double in temperature, which can be deadly for an animal or child inside. Shade is deceptive too, as the clouds can move quickly and make little difference to the interior temperature.

If you have to, bring your dog with you instead, or secure them in a shaded, secure spot outside of the car – or best option of all, leave your dog at home where you know they will be safe. It is far too easy to get distracted and take longer than planned!

If you need to run around and do errands and don’t want to bring your dog, why not use a Pawshake pet sitter? Head to Pawshake and enter your suburb in the search bar to see who is nearby in your community!