SNP MSP Derek Mackay is urging Renfrewshire’s dog owners not to leave their pets in hot cars this summer.
Mr Mackay is highlighting research undertaken by Dogs Trust which shows that most people believe it is fine to leave a dog in a car if counter-measures are taken, such as leaving a window open or parking under a tree.
Under 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog, should its body exceed 41°C. Within a matter of minutes, as the temperature rises in your car, your dog’s suffering will become evident through excessive panting, whimpering or barking. This will then develop into a loss of muscle control and ultimately their kidneys will cease to function, the brain will become damaged and their heart will stop.
The Renfrewshire North & West MSP is warning constituents that on even wet or cooler days, leaving their pet in the car even for a few minutes can be dangerous.
Mr Mackay said:
“Many people don’t know that dogs take a lot longer than humans to cool down and with temperatures rising over the summer it is more important than ever that dog owners are warned of the dangers of leaving their pets unattended in cars. Even on cooler or very wet days, cars can become very hot, very quickly, and be fatal for dogs.
“You just need to touch the dashboard or seat of a car to see how hot it can get. And parking in the shade or leaving the window down will not make it any safer.
“If you are carrying your dog in the car over the summer carry plenty of drinking water for it, use sun blinds on the windows and do not leave the dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes.
“If you do see a dog in distress in a parked car call the police or the SSPCA immediately.”