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Hot car warning for dog owners

Tuesday July 22nd 2014

Dog owners are advised to never leave their animals in cars on hot days after a new survey found that nearly two thirds of owners think it is safe to do so for an hour or more.

The poll, commissioned by pet health specialist VioVet, reveals 62% of people think it is fine to leave dogs in hot cars for 60 minutes and 38% indicated they would not be worried if their dog was left inside a hot vehicle for 90 minutes or more.

Dogs can become seriously ill or even die in around 20 minutes when left in cars and the weather doesn't have to be hot as cars warm up quickly in milder temperatures. When the outside temperature is 22 degrees, cars warm up to 47 degrees in under an hour.

The combination of hot air and hot upholstery causes significant harm to dogs as they pant and sweat through the pads of their paws, according to VioVet director John Cousins.

It is particularly dangerous to leave younger and older dogs in warm vehicles, while long-haired pooches often suffer from heatstroke and short-snouted breeds like bulldogs can find it hard to breathe. It is a good idea for owners to arrange Pet Insurance to cover the cost of veterinary treatment if their dogs become ill.

Leaving windows open or shielding the inside of cars is not enough to keep dogs safe, Mr Cousins says, so he advises owners to not leave them in hot cars at all.

Copyright Press Association 2014