Lifesaving car travel advice for all pet owners from Towcester Vets

June 7, 2022

#DogsDieInHotCars – Fact. This year, the RSPCA is asking people to get onboard with their campaign as millions of Brits are expected to staycation with their four-legged friends. At Towcester Vets, we are urging ALL PET OWNERS to think ‘safety first’ for every journey they take with their pet, and to share the message with others.

Keep reading to understand how to keep your pet comfortable in the car on warm days with safety tips from our experienced veterinary team.

Please also download & share the free resources at the bottom of this article to help spread this important message.

If you see a pet in a car on a warm day:

Assess the pet’s condition and if they are in distress/showing signs of heatstroke CALL 999.

Signs of heatstroke in pets: Heavy Panting – Excessive Drooling – Lethargic, Drowsy or Uncoordinated – Vomiting – Collapse.

Visit the RSPCA’s website and learn more about what to do if you spot a pet in trouble.

How hot is too hot and how long is ok?

Have you heard the phrase “Not long is too long”? It means exactly what it says.

When the outside temperature is 22 degrees Celsius, inside the car could reach 47 degrees within one hour.

Towcester Vets’ team warn that putting any pet in this situation will cause them harm and suffering, and could easily be fatal. And contrary to popular belief, cloud cover, parking in the shade, and cracking open the window is not enough to help your pet…

Dealing with car journeys on warm days

For many people in Northamptonshire, pet car journeys usually involve their dog. However, any pet can be transported for vet visits, holidays, boarding facilities, groomers, and visiting friends & family.

It is not always possible to avoid situations where your pet is in the car on a warm day for longer than is ideal – being stuck in traffic, running low on fuel, or an emergency situation. However, by planning ahead and thinking ‘safety first’, you will have a better chance of keeping your pet safe.

Think “safety first”

The team at Towcester Vets have put together some helpful advice for pet owners below, including social media images and a handy poster for you to share.

Ask yourself before you travel:

  1. a) Can I run the errand/fill up with fuel before the car journey with my pet?
  2. b) Can I travel early or late in the day to avoid the hottest times?
  3. c) Can someone travel with me and take my pet out of the car if I need to stop?

8 tips for keeping your pet comfortable in the car:

  1. Install car window shades that cover as much of your backseat windows as possible
  2. Put your pet or their carrier/crate on the back seat (or in the rear footwell for small pets) – angled car boot glass can amplify the heat from the sun
  3. Use air-conditioning while you are driving
  4. Always carry plenty of water with you and a vessel for your pet to drink from
  5. Make regular stops to check on your pet and provide drinks, fresh air & dog toilet breaks
  6. If you need to stop at a petrol station pay at the pump wherever possible
  7. In very slow traffic/an emergency situation, park up and take your pet of the car – could someone come and collect them from you?
  8. Take a cool mat (not a cooling coat) to use in the shade if your pet is getting hot

If your pet is struggling take them away from the heat source and find some shade to cool them down. Put tepid (not ice-cold) water on their fur, give them a drink, and call a Vet for advice.

We hope you found our advice helpful and are inspired to share it with others in Northamptonshire and beyond. Get the links to our free poster and social sharing images below.

‘Keep pets safe in cars’ FREE resources

Facebook image

A4 poster

Visit Towcester Vets’ website for other helpful pet news & advice.

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