AREADER of this column r ecently came across a dog inside a car, parked in the sun for close to half an hour.
The dog was distressed, panting heavily, with no water and very little ventilation.
The owner eventually returned but became defensive when approached about the state of his dog.
Grey areas remain around regulations on leaving car windows down.
It’s likely the legally permitted number of centimetres a window can be left open in an unattended car is not adequate to safeguard an animal left inside.
If someone knows the fi ner detail of these regulations, please email me.
Either way, it’s hard to fathom being booked for ensuring your dog has suffi cient airfl ow.
Similarly, regulations around breaking a car window to retrieve an animal expiring from heat are a bit tricky in practise.
Clearly, it’s illegal to go around breaking car windows but how does this stack up against the Animal Welfare Act or the moral imperative to save an animal trapped in a car and suffering from heat stroke?
All this can easily be avoided by simply not leaving pets in cars on warm days.
Animals in parked cars can be overcome with heat stroke in a matter of minutes, even when windows are left down.
It’s just not safe to do it. Over the summer months, pets need relief from the sun and heat and would be happy to share some shade with you.
Signs of heat stress are excessive panting, salivating and agitated behaviour.
On days of high fi re danger, canine behaviourist Tracey Hardcastle suggests having a dog or cat relocation kit ready to go.
It would include food, water, a bowl, spare collar and lead for dogs, bedding, favourite toy, travel crate, medications, your contact details and a friend’s contact details in case you become separated from your pet.
If not relocating on an extreme fi re day, pets are best kept inside the house where they can stay cool and calm.