1. ITV Report

'You may as well leave your dog in an oven'

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: PA

The Dogs Trust are highlighting the dangers of leaving dogs in a parked car this summer.

Even with the window open a little, or when parked in the shade, a dog's life can be in danger.

Almost half of people from the North West and South of Scotland had thought otherwise.

  • It can take 20 minutes for a dog to die in a hot car
  • Brits are far more likely to leave their dog in a car alone for a few minutes (28%) than their phone (10%)
  • 25% of UK dog owners admit to leaving their dog alone in a parked car
  • AA call outs to rescue dogs from parked cars has increased by 50% in the past six years
Cavalier King Charles Lolly (L) looks at an ice sculpture created by Dogs Trust to warn of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Dogs Trust

“We claim to be a nation of dog lovers, but it’s shocking how many people are willing to put man’s best friend in serious danger. As soon as the car doors are shut the countdown begins - which could potentially end in an agonising death for the dog. Our message is simple: don’t leave your dog in a parked car.”

– Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust

If a dog is left in a hot car for just 20 minutes, it's body temperature can go over 41 degrees which can be fatal.

A dog in distress may whimper, bark or excessively pant.

Watch: Dogs Trust campaign video

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rico (L) looks at an ice sculpture created by Dogs Trust to warn of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Dogs Trust

The advice to owners is:

  • Keep your dog as cool as possible when driving: avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds on the windows and open a window a little to allow a cooling breeze to circulate in the vehicle
  • Have a supply of water and know where you can stop for water breaks. Dogs are not able to cool down as effectively as humans so could suffer from heat stroke and dehydration very quickly.
  • Wet towels can be used to cool a dog but these must be regularly changed. You can also spray them with water and place them in front of the air conditioning vent on the way to the vets.
The Dogs Trust urge people not to leave a dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes Credit: PA
  • Don't leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Parking in the shade or leaving the windows open doesn't make it safe
  • If you are there when a dog is rescued from a hot car and the dog is distressed, seek advice from a vet. The first priority is to prevent the dog getting any hotter by providing shade from the sun or moving to a cooler area. Dampening the dog with cold (not freezing) water will help bring the body temperature down.
  • If you see a dog in distress in a parked car call the Police (101) or the RSPCA/ SSPCA in Scotland

For more information visit the Dogs Trust website here.