Keep Dogs Cool This Summer
By Kyle Lindsay
Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 15:30
The current heatwave has seen temperatures soar high into the 30s – that’s good news for UK holiday-makers but it can make family dogs feel very hot under the collar.
Great Britain is a dog-loving nation, with over 8.5 million* pooches kept as pets, but a countless number of dogs die every year after being left alone in hot cars. To help raise awareness, ŠKODA has teamed up with the RSPCA to support the ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ campaign. The campaign aims to show families they should never leave a dog alone in a vehicle and always keep windows open, or use air conditioning while driving to keep pooches in maximum comfort.
With temperatures over the last week rising to a sizzling 34 degrees Celsius in places, and an unbearable 60+ degrees Celsius inside vehicles, there has been a notable rise in reports of dogs suffering inside hot cars. On Twitter, the RSPCA has seen an 800% rise in enquires and a 900% spike in social media mentions. There has also been a 91-point jump in Google search rankings of the search term, ‘how can I keep my dog cool in the car?’, showing that pet owners are desperately seeking guidance on the topic.
Temperatures in cars can rise very quickly. Even at just 22 degrees Celsius outside, a car can reach an unbearable 47 degrees Celsius within an hour. A dog can die within minutes in a hot car, even if the owner has ‘just popped to the shop.’
A ŠKODA spokesperson said, “Any dog dying in a hot car is unacceptable. Here at ŠKODA we want to promote all elements of responsible driving and this includes pet welfare. The message is simple, never leave a dog in a car alone, particularly during the summer.
“We worked with the RSPCA on the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign to help convey a positive message around what is a difficult and sometimes harrowing subject – cool dogs are happy dogs. We hope that drivers will benefit from the RSPCA’s advice and dogs will be safer.”
In 2016, the RSPCA received 7,187 calls about animals left in potentially life-threatening hot environments – the majority of which were dogs.
Kat Litchfield, Corporate Partnerships Manager at the RSPCA said, “We’re delighted that ŠKODA is involved in the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign. Dogs are part of the family and leaving them for just a few minutes in a warm car is enough to cause serious suffering or even death. Our message has been loud and clear for years: don’t leave dogs alone in parked cars. If you spot a distressed animal in a vehicle, call 999 immediately.”
There are things that drivers can do this summer to ensure their pets are safe while travelling, no matter what the distance:
- Never leave your dog alone in the vehicle so they don’t get anxious or overheat
- In hot weather, always have the window open when driving to help keep your dogs cool. Summer can be a very dangerous time for dogs on their travels
- Always carry water with you to keep your dog hydrated
- Invest in appropriate pet restraints, such as a pet barrier or seat belt, to ensure your dog remains in the back of the car throughout your journey
- Take regular breaks to provide water for your dog
- Where possible exercise your dog with a short walk during your breaks
- When the vehicle is moving, don’t let a dog hang its head outside car windows, no matter how much they enjoy it!
- Before embarking on a long journey, take your dog on short journeys to get them used to travelling in the car
- Take your dog for a walk/exercise before travelling
- Make sure there aren’t any loose items that could harm your dog in the boot or on the back seat of your car
- Bring their favourite blanket or toy to help relax your dog
The new ŠKODA Octavia features six engines, two body styles (Hatch and Estate) and seven familiar trim levels – including Scout and vRS and a choice of manual or DSG automatic gearboxes.