Pet owners issued urgent warning over what to remember when taking your dog along for a drive in heatwave | The Sun

BRITS have been sweltering in temperatures hotter than the Caribbean.

And pet owners in the UK have been warned that they need to keep their furry friends cool as the mercury soars.

To help drivers stay on top of things whilst out travelling this summer, CarStore have shared their top tips for dog-owning drivers:

KEEP THE CAR COOL

If possible, put the air conditioning on for a few minutes before you set off on your travels, to allow the car to cool down before your dog gets in. 

Once on the move, make sure you have the windows open for ventilation and use sunshades on the windows, so your dog isn’t in direct sunlight.

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You should also make sure your dog has access to water during the journey. 

The amount of time it takes for a dog to overheat in a car is much shorter than many people think, especially if your dog is long-haired or has a short snout – in some cases, it could be minutes or less. 

Many of these dogs have difficulty breathing and these problems are exacerbated in hot weather, even from 20°C.

TAKE CARE ON HOT SURFACES

Lots of surfaces heat up in the sun, such as leather car seats or the tarmac in a car park, and this can be painful for your dog’s paws, causing injuries such as blisters. 

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If in doubt, check for yourself using the palm of your hand. 

If it feels too hot for you, the chances are your dog will feel the same. 

Use a towel or dog bed in your car to ensure your dog is not sat directly on a hot seat whilst on the move.

PLAN STOPS ON YOUR JOURNEY

If you’re travelling for any kind of significant distance, make sure you take a route that has enough places to stop, so not only can the human passengers take a break, but your dog/s can stretch their legs, go to the toilet, rehydrate, and have a cooling treat too. 

We would recommend setting off earlier in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler and there is less traffic, if possible.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE IN THE CAR

Cars can get very warm, very quickly, and this can be deadly for your dog.  

Even if your car is parked in the shade with the windows open, dogs can become distressed and uncomfortable, and develop heatstroke very quickly. 

Make sure you always have a plan so your dog isn't left alone in the car or any other enclosed spaces. If you see a dog in a hot car, dial 999.

LOOK OUT FOR HEATSTROKE   

When your dog gets too hot and can’t reduce their body temperature they are at risk of developing heatstroke, which can be fatal. 

The signs to look out for include: 

  • Heavy panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • A rapid pulse
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lack of coordination, or confusion
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Loss of consciousness

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, you need to act fast. Immediately take them to a cool, shaded area and ring your nearest vet clinic. 

Once in the shade, lay them down on a towel soaked in cold water and let them drink small amounts of cool water. 

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Never place them directly into ice cold water or give them too much to drink as they may go into shock. 

Try to keep cooling them down while you take them to the vets.

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