Hot Dogs

Headline News: Two Dogs Die in Police Vehicle

Two dogs were baked alive in a police dog handler’s vehicle – the second time that this particular officer has left his dogs in a secure car without ventilation in very hot weather. It cannot be emphasized enough that if dogs are left in vehicles without adequate ventilation, a supply of water, shade and also the ability to move around to avoid direct sunlight, the consequences are unthinkable.

Perhaps this is blindingly obvious to us as responsible dog owners, but, following a brief question and answer session with several puppy and dog owners recently, some thought it was OK to leave them in the car unattended whilst they went into a supermarket, or whilst mum waited to collect the children from school or other activities, provided that it was for only a short time.  Think again.

The police dogs mentioned above, one a puppy German Shepherd, perished within a comparatively short period and that was before midday when the summer heat would obviously intensify.

Try this:  when you next reach your destination, turn the air conditioning off and wait in your car for one minute with the windows closed in full sunshine.  You will stifle, but just imagine being powerless to open the door and get out, or even open a window and you will know what I mean. I now have a brief chat about dogs in hot weather during all my classes and on all behavioural visits, because what I think is basic dog care (and common sense) may well not cross some owners’ minds….

PLEASE think of and for your dog: keep them cool. They wear fur coats 24/7!

*Let your dog lie in shade under trees on cool ground or on a tiled floor indoors.

*Hose him off and let him cool or soak in a paddling pool filled with cold water (it will heat up if it’s in the sun, of course).

*Put ice cubes in the water bowl or give one or two to chew on.

*Make sure that he has a constant supply of fresh water available at all times.

*Walk your dog early morning or late evening in the coolest part of the day.

*Pavements can get hot enough to burn your dog’s pads, which is very painful and can leave them permanently damaged.

**NEVER PUT A WET TOWEL ON A DOG – IT ACTS LIKE A SAUNA TRAPPING AIR BETWEEN THE FUR AND WET TOWEL

Dogs in Cars

Dogs in Cars

Most dogs are happy to jump into cars knowing that journey’s end will bring excitement, new terrain and the chance to explore.

Laws have been enacted to safeguard children when travelling in cars, however, no such provision is made for dogs, so here are a few suggestions that may just make your dog’s – and your – journey a little happier and safer.

  • Secure your dog into the car with a safety harness, to ensure that he doesn’t become a missile: Sharp braking can project a dog forward, towards or through the windscreen. It will also stabilise him and help to prevent travel sickness.
  • A travel cage/kennel is useful to help your dog feel comfortable during transit.   An added benefit is that a dog is less likely to bark at other dogs, cyclists or passersby.
  • When going on a long journey, plan to stop regularly to ensure that your dog can be given water and the chance to make himself comfortable. Avoid feeding him before the journey – remember it can take several hours to digest food, more if he’s excited.
  • Always allow plenty of ventilation during the journey and also when you stop. Never leave your dog in an unventilated car, even in cold weather – winter sun heats up cars just the same as solar panels.
  • Keep the volume of your car radio or music to a modest level – remember your dog’s hearing is much more acute than yours.
  • Plan ahead and the journey for you and your dog will be a good experience for you both.