Dog owners are being warned not to leave their dogs unattened in the car today as temperatures across the county are expected to reach 18° to 21° Celsius.

Dogs Trust Ireland in conjunction with AA Ireland are urging people to remember that ‘Hot cars kill dogs!’.

With many people planning to take to the open road for the Bank Holiday weekend Dogs Trust are asking dog owners across the country to be vigilant when it comes to travelling with your dog.

Despite Ireland being a nation of dog lovers recent research has shown that many owners are in the habit of leaving their dogs unattended in cars.

Renagh Kelly, Veterinary Surgeon at Dogs Trust, said: “Remember, it is crucially important not to leave dogs in hot cars. Many dog owners believe it is ok to leave a dog in a car if counter-measures are taken, such as parking under a tree or leaving a window open. 

“Unfortunately, this is a myth – in reality partially lowering the window has no significant effect on the temperature inside a parked car. Just a few minutes in a hot car can prove fatal for a dog”.

Follow these tips to ensure you can enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend along with your four-legged companions:

  • Never leave dogs in the car in warm weather, even if it feels cool outside.
  • Always take the keys with you even if just running back into the house to get something.
  • Consider using a car sunblind to provide shade and carry a ready supply of water at all times
  • Avoid long car journeys in hot weather, if you need to travel, avoid the heat of the day.
  • Clip fur and apply pet sun cream to easily burned areas: nose, ears, eyelids and belly. DON'T use human sun cream - it can be toxic so visit your local pet shop and get one that is made specifically for dogs.
  • Be extra vigilant with older and overweight dogs as they are more prone to overheating. In a real emergency wet your dog thoroughly and use a household fan to blow cool air over their head and body. Seek urgent veterinary attention.
  • If your dog takes a dip in a lake or pool make sure you rinse him as soon afterwards as possible. Never allow your dog to drink from ponds unless the water is clear as algae in the water can produce toxins that are rapidly fatal.

    If your dog shows signs of distress such as excessive panting, blueness of the tongue or collapse in the heat contact your vet.  If you are present at the rescue of a dog from a hot car that is clearly in distress, seek immediate veterinary advice.  Dampening the dog down with cool (but not freezing) water or cool wet towels will help to start bring down their body temperature. 

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