Paw Patrol: Tesco’s Car Parks Patrols Save Dogs
A new heatwave is sweeping over the UK with temperatures as high as 34°C. However, pet owners are still taking their pets with them to the supermarket, leaving them in the car at the risk of a potentially fatal outcome. Hot weather is difficult enough for dogs to deal with, without forcing them to stay in extreme heat. As such, pooches are actually far better off at home with their food and water than travelling.
As of July 19th Tesco has launched a new initiative. All in order to try and minimize the possibility of heat-stroke deaths in their car parks. Believe it or not, it is not just dogs that are left in hot cars. Children also die every year, as a result of being left in hot vehicles for extended periods of time. Never, ever leave a living creature of any kind in a hot car. Not even for 5 minutes – as that is still enough time for heatstroke to kick in. Especially with such high temperatures.
Tesco’s initiative has come as part of a collaboration with the RSPCA. As a result of this collaboration, patrolling staff are receiving full training as to what they should look out for. Heatstroke has many symptoms, most of which are clearly visible externally, making spotting a dog in distress much easier.
A spokesperson for Tesco Superstores has said that staff will ‘regularly patrol [their] car parks and are given guidance on what to do if they spot a dog, alone in a car.’ They will then do whatever is necessary to protect the dog inside the vehicle, should they see signs of heatstroke. This can range from calling the police, to smashing the window to get them out.
Recognising Canine Heat Stroke in Hot Weather
Dogs have a much lower tolerance for heat than humans. Mostly owing to their thick fur and inability to sweat through the majority of their bodies. Therefore temperatures of 20°C upwards can cause major complications. Furthermore, in hot weather dogs should be going on walkies first thing in the morning, or after the sun has gone down. Never in the middle of the day.
The warning signs for dogs suffering from heatstroke are as follows in order of severity:
- Heavy panting
- Excessively drooling
- Lethargic/uncoordinated behaviour
What should I do if I find any dogs with heatstroke?
If the dog is in someone’s car there are certain steps you can take, before jumping to vandalism. Alternatively, if the dog is easily accessible, there are several things you can do to help them cope with or recover from the heat.
If the dog is in another person’s car:
The first thing you should do is make a note of the car’s registration, colour, make, and model. Then follow the following guide:
- Do not leave the scene unless you absolutely have to. Try to have someone else watch the dog if you have to look for the owner. Heatstroke can progress quickly, you need to watch for signs that they are deteriorating.
- If the car is in a supermarket car park, enter the business and request that they page the owner.
- Should you be unable to locate the owner, call 999 who will advise you on what to do next.
- If the authorities are taking too long, gain access to the vehicle in any way that you can and remove the dog from the heat. It is extremely important that you have a witness to back you up. Grab a passerby if you have no one else with you. Additionally, try to film the incident as evidence.
- Work on bringing the dog’s temperature down with the below advice.
If the dogs are easy to get to:
- Move then to a shaded area – grass would be ideal if there is any nearby. Avoid laying them down on the hot concrete by putting down a barrier first, such as a jacket or blanket.
- If available, pour cool water onto the dog. Do not use cold water as it can cause them to go into shock.
- If water is not available fan the dog to bring down their temperature whilst someone fetches some.
- Give them small amounts of water. Make sure they are paced as they drink so as not to make themselves sick.
- Once their breathing has slowed, take them to the nearest veterinary services for urgent care.
Tesco’s new initiative should hopefully save dozens of dogs from the terrible fate of heat stroke. It also has the Tesco’s new initiative should hopefully save dozens of dogs from the terrible fate of heatstroke. It also has the potential to save children in such heat, as many people make the incorrect assumption that their child or dog will be fine for a few minutes. But when the weather is in excess of 30°C a car will act as an oven, rapidly heating beyond that external temperature. Do not, under any circumstances, leave your dog or child in the car for any length of time on hot days.