A Message From Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam has joined us in raising awareness of the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign
The RSPCA led campaign involves lots of other organisations, all aiming to keep dogs happy and healthy during the summer months.
In a series of short films, available on YouTube, Fireman Sam helps to educate the next generation of pet owners and teach children the do's and don'ts of looking after pets in hot weather.
Last year, calls to the RSPCA about dogs overheating reached nearly 8,000 and during one heat wave saw our emergency hotline receive 241 calls in six days, 105 of which on just one day (April 19) as temperatures soared.
RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens says:
It's so dangerous to leave your pet inside any hot environment whether it be a car, a conservatory or even a caravan. The temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C (117°F) within minutes, even when the outside temperature is just 22°C (72°F) and this can be fatal for a dog.
Dogs in hot cars
Opening a window, parking in the shade or leaving a bowl of water for your dog isn't enough and still leaves dogs in serious danger of suffering from heatstroke. And popping into the shop for five minutes is long enough for your dog to be affected.
Dogs are covered in fur and do not sweat in the same way as humans do. Unlike humans, dogs pant to help keep themselves cool. The effectiveness of panting is reduced at high temperatures and humidities. Cars heat up very rapidly in hot - or even warm - weather. Air-conditioning can disguise the danger that a dog will face once the engine is turned off.
We would simply ask dog owners never to leave their pet unattended in a parked or stationary vehicle and, if the weather is warm, to leave them at home where they can access cool, shady parts of the house and lots of water.
In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police. The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we'd need police assistance at such an incident.
The video will be available on the Fireman Sam YouTube channel from Friday 13th July as part of the Fireman Sam Animal Safety Shorts Series, which includes a further three videos aimed at children and families on how to keep their pets safe and well.