Weddin Shire Council ranger: Dogs die in hot cars

Weddin Shire Council ranger Allison Knowles is encouraging all local residents to think of their pets over the summer period and not leave them in hot cars or ute trays.

"A dog can die if left in a car in six minutes if the outside temperature is 30 degrees," is the fact Allison wants all pet owners to understand and carry with them whenever they have their pet in the car with them.

"With Summer well and truly here, and Grenfell temperatures sometimes reaching 40 degrees, you are reminded of the danger of leaving your dog in an unattended vehicle," she said.

"Even if you are just popping into the shops to get milk this could prove deadly for your dog."

Allison said it isn't only a matter of leaving the windows cracked in the car to save pooches from the scorching heat.

"Do not think that leaving the windows down an inch will save your pooch from severe heat stress /exhaustion or ultimately death.

"Evidence has shown that leaving the window down slightly for some fresh air does little to change the inside temperature of the vehicle," Allison stated.

"Testing has revealed that a vehicle that had been air condition cooled to 20 degrees, with an outside temperature of 29, heated up to 44 degrees within 10 minutes of the vehicle being locked and left in the sun."

Allison said a further 10 minutes revealed the inside temperature of the vehicle had tripled to 60 degrees.

"Dogs cool down by panting, if the air around them becomes too hot the dog is physically unable to regulate the body temperature.

"Unless you are taking your dog to a vet, or travelling on holidays with your dog, it is recommended to leave them at home."

A tip from Allison is to create a safe place with shade, shelter, fresh water, a bone or their favourite toys.

"Dog owners need to be aware that NSW Police or an RSPCA Officer has the power to smash a vehicle window and seize a dog if they are of the belief the dog is suffering from heat stress," Allison said.

"If an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is proven penalties may apply and/or imprisonment may be imposed."

Allison's warnings aren't only for dogs being carried inside of vehicles but for those who are travelling with dogs in ute trays as well.

"To all people who have their dog on the back of utes - please ensure that your dog at all times has access to fresh drinking water and if enclosed by a cage, that the cage is covered by shade cloth or similar - no iron roofs - to decrease direct heat.

"Always park your ute in the shade. Remember, ute trays can become boiling hot and dogs can burn the pads on their feet, become dehydrated and or suffer heat stress and exhaustion quickly."

Allison said some symptoms of heat stress and/or exhaustion include panting, dehydration, excessive drooling, spike in temperature, change of gum colour, decrease of or no urination, vomiting, seizure, staggering or collapse.

"If you suspect that your dog is suffering from the heat try to cool down and take to vet immediately," she said.

For more information, or access to Fact Sheets, please do not hesitate to contact your local vet or the Weddin Shire Ranger on 0427 246 787.