Following reports of rising temperatures, the RSPCA has warned pet owners to ensure animals are comfortable in the heat.
The charity has reminded the public not to leave any animal in a car or caravan, or in a conservatory or outbuilding, where temperatures can quickly rise to 47C which can result in death.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said: “In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police. The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident.
“If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke – such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting – call 999 immediately.”
If the situation becomes critical and police can’t attend, many people’s instinct is to break into the car to free the dog. But, without proper justification, the RSPCA warns that this could be classed as criminal damage.
The RSPCA advises members of the public to make sure they tell the police of their intentions and take photos or footage of the dog as well as names and numbers of witnesses. Once removed from the car, move the dog to a shaded/cool area and douse him/her with cool water. Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water.
If the dog isn’t displaying signs of heatstroke, the charity recommends establishing how long the dog has been in the car and make a note of the registration. Ask a member of staff to make an announcement of the situation over the tannoy, if possible, and get someone to stay with the dog to monitor its condition.