It takes just six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car

Animal welfare charities have warned against pet owners leaving their dogs in cars as the temperatures increase across Malta and Gozo.

Experts at the MSPCA warned that the temperature in a car can rise quickly and this can be dangerous, potentially fatal to a dog.

It can get unbearably hot in a car on a sunny day, even when it’s not that warm.

In fact, when it’s 22°C outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C within 60 minutes.

Dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: ‘It’s so dangerous to leave your pet inside any hot environment.

‘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.

‘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.’

Top tips for summer from the MSPCA:

  • Your dog should always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment if he/she is feeling hot.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a car. If you want to take your dog with you on a car journey, make sure that your destination is dog-friendly – you won’t be able to leave your dog in the car and you don’t want your day out to be ruined!
  • If you have to leave your dog outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where he/she can escape from the sun at all times of the day. Please remember that shade cover can move during the day.
  • Make sure your dog always has a good supply of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that can’t be knocked over. Carry water with you on hot days and give your dog frequent small amounts.
  • Never leave your dog in a glass conservatory or a caravan. Even if it is cloudy when you leave, the sun may come out later in the day and make it unbearably hot.
  • Groom your dog regularly to get rid of excess hair. Give long-coated breeds a haircut at the start of the summer, and later in the season, if necessary.
  • Dogs need exercise – even when it is hot. Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Never allow your dog to exercise excessively in hot weather.
  • Dogs can get sunburned too – particularly those with light-coloured noses or light-coloured fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.
  • Make an ice lolly or ice cream dog treat for your dogs to crunch and chew to cool down.
  • Please be mindful of the other pets in your care and where you keep them and ensure they don’t get trapped in places such as outhouses and conservatories.

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