Take extra care with your dog in the car this summer


It is dangerous and illegal to leave an animal in a hot vehicle.  So how can owners ensure their pets are safe and comfortable on car journeys this summer?
GEM Motoring Assist has compiled a short checklist designed to ensure dogs stay safe and comfortable on car journeys:
· Leave your dog at home on warm days.
· On trips with your pet, bring plenty of fresh water and a bowl.  Ensure your dog is able to stay cool on the journey.
· Don't let your dog travel unrestrained.  Use a proper travel basket or crate to create a safer space.  Dog seatbelts and travel harnesses are also available.
· If you think the dog might be too hot, stop somewhere safe and give it a good drink of water.  Animals are unable to sweat in the way that humans can.  They cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paws, so if you have left your dog in the car on a hot day it only takes a few minutes for them to succumb to the symptoms of heatstroke.
· If you suspect your dog may be developing heatstroke, stop somewhere safe and take it into the shade or somewhere cool.  
· If signs of heat exhaustion become apparent (such as excessive thirst, heavy panting, rapid pulse, fever, vomiting, glazed eyes and/or dizziness), go straight to a vet.
· If you see a pet in a vehicle on a hot day, take immediate action.  For example, if you’re in a supermarket, roadside service area or garden centre car park, note the car make, model, colour and registration number, then go inside and ask for an announcement to be made.  If this doesn’t bring the owner out, or you’re in a location where finding the owner is impossible, dial 999 and ask for the police.
“If a dog becomes ill or dies, the owner is likely to face a charge under the Animal Welfare Act 2006,” GEM Road Safety Officer Neil Worth warned.  “This offence can bring a prison sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to £20,000.”