Sheffield dog owners warned of dangers of leaving pets in cars on warm days

With the summer and warm weather fast approaching, we take a look at the dangers of leaving dogs in cars and why it should not be done.

Friday, 20th May 2022, 1:30 pm

The Kennel Club has explained the reasons why dogs should not be left in cars during warm weather.

It warns to never leave dogs in cars under any circumstances as they could suffer from a heatstroke very quickly, which can be fatal.

Dogs control their body temperature by panting, but this is not enough to stop them overheating, and with inside car temperatures rising quickly in the heat, dehydration, heatstroke and sometimes death can follow.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: An ice sculpture is placed in a vehicle to warn of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car on April 9, 2014 in London, England. Today Dogs Trust unveils its summer campaign to highlight the true cost of only '20 minutes', the time it can take for a dog to die in a hot car. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Dogs Trust)

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No amount of time is safe to leave a dog in the car, with it taking just minutes for heatstroke to set in. Leaving your dog with access to water is also not enough to stop any effect of heatstroke in the car.

The Kennel Club had warned of several signs of heatstroke in dogs: heavy panting, even when not exercising; breathing problems, particularly in flat-faced dogs; tiredness, stiffness or an unwillingness to move; dribbling, confusion, being sick, upset stomachs, not able to walk in a straight line, collapsing and fitting.

It also advises what to do if you see a dog trapped in a car.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: An ice sculpture is placed in a vehicle to warn of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car on April 9, 2014 in London, England. Today Dogs Trust unveils its summer campaign to highlight the true cost of only '20 minutes', the time it can take for a dog to die in a hot car. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Dogs Trust)

Even if they seem well, this can deteriorate quickly. If you are concerned for the dog call 999 and ask for the police.

If the dog is not yet distressed, things like asking for a tannoy announcement to find the owners is the best thing to do.

You can also call the RSPCA cruelty line, and if you become concerned or the owners do not respond, you may call 999.

Breaking a car window to save a dog is classed as criminal damage, and documenting your actions, such as photos of the dog in the car, names of witnesses, video of you breaking into the car, remaining on the phone to the police, and documenting your actions after are vital.

Before doing any of this, The Kennel Club advise calling the police and asking for advice before doing anything which could land you in trouble.