Manx SPCA Chronicle: Dangers of Overheating Dogs

You may have read newspaper stories last week about a professional dog walker in Hampshire who was jailed for 18 weeks after two dogs died in her car.

She had walked the dogs in July last year and then, before dropping them off at their owner, left them in her car while she drove home to collect keys.

She told the court that she left the car windows open and ‘only left the dogs for a minute’, but their temperature rose rapidly and they died of heat stress.

It’s all too easy to think of ourselves as responsible dog owners who would never do such a thing, but many of us underestimate the power of the sun and the impact it can have on our pets, even in harsh weather. covered.

And it’s not just the summer months that are the problem – we have just experienced a fluctuation in spring weather, from unusually warm and sunny days to cold and humid days.

The following statistics are quite shocking: on a moderately hot day, the temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in less than 20 minutes.

A car’s metal body absorbs heat, and the windows (even if left open) act like the glass of a greenhouse – drawing heat inside the car and trapping it there.

If you have a flat-faced dog, the chances of heat stress or heat stroke are increased, as a hot environment will quickly interfere with their breathing.

Older and obese dogs are also at greater risk.

What should you do if you see someone else’s dog in a car on a hot day?

Observe the dog’s condition and if he shows signs of heat stroke (heavy panting, extreme lethargy, dribbling or trying on), call 999. The police will endeavor to intervene as soon as possible.

Your instinct may be to try and break into the car to free the dog, but you should be aware that this could be considered criminal damage and you may need to defend your actions in court.

Be sure to tell the police what you intend to do and why, take photos or video of the dog in distress, and try to get witnesses to observe your actions.

If the dog does not show symptoms of heat stroke but you are concerned about its welfare, try to establish how long it has/will be in the car by looking for a pay and display ticket.

If you are near a store, ask the staff to make an announcement through the Tannoy system and, if possible, stay with the dog to monitor his condition.

If you believe the dog’s welfare has been compromised, you should report the car’s registration number to the police, so that it can be entered into their database.

If you suspect a dog has heatstroke, move it to a well-ventilated, shady area and limit its activity.

Encourage the dog to drink cool water but don’t give it ice cold water, or douse it with very cold water as the heat shock could kill it. If the dog refuses to drink, put drops of water on his lips and gums, as well as on the pads of his paws.

Even if the dog seems to respond well to cooling treatments, it is imperative that you contact an emergency veterinarian for professional advice.

Handsome six-year-old border collie Albie seems to be able to run and run, play and play, without overheating so he needs to live with an active owner who is just as energetic.

Albie is very attached to Skye, who is a smaller, younger version of him, and they love chasing and retrieving balls as long as someone can throw them.

Albie takes being a sheepdog seriously and he likes to ‘herd’ young children so he can’t live with them, but he and Skye are a loving couple who are happy with people and other dogs. .

Please call the kennel team at 851672 option one if you would like to meet them.

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