Dogs in Hot Cars – Don’t Risk It!
Ah, there’s nothing like a New Zealand summer – pools, family barbeques and trips to the beach…we love it!
But summer in New Zealand also means, sadly, the accidental locking of pets in hot cars happens from time to time. This is something that we at Pawshake REALLY, really want to avoid.
So pet sitters and pet owners, this is for you. If you’re armed with knowledge and you spread the word amongst your friends and family, we can bring awareness and hopefully prevent incidents like this from happening!
Some handy tips include -
• Leave the driver door ajar or window down when packing the boot or moving away from the car.
• Place your keys in a clothes pocket or somewhere close to your body.
• Try to keep your keys in the same safe place every time - focus on where you put them, particularly when taking a phone call, loading the boot or placing a child in a car seat.
• Don’t rush because another driver is waiting for the parking space.
• Make your own posters or pamphlets to put up in your community to raise awareness.
And if you see a pet locked in a car –
• Make note of the car’s make, model and license plate number.
• Notify any businesses nearby, or if in a shopping centre notify ground staff and security.
• If the owner can't be found, call the police on their local number, or 111, and wait by the car for them to arrive. The dog ideally should be taken to a vet for emergency treatment (a tip - don’t try to cool the dog down too rapidly with ice packs or loose ice – water, damp towels and shade are preferred).
• Alternatively, ring your local SPCA branch (listings located here).
• Don't leave the scene! Stay nearby until help comes - the animal's life may be depending on you.
It’s super important to understand that a coolish day DOES NOT mean a cool car - and that winding a window down for a quick trip to the shops won’t significantly lower the temperature inside your car. It can take less than 10 minutes for the interior of a car to more than double in temperature, which can be deadly for an animal or child inside. Shade is deceptive too, as the clouds can move quickly and make little difference to the interior temperature.
If you have to, bring your dog with you instead, or secure them in a shaded, secure spot outside of the car – or the best option of all, leave your dog at home where you know they will be safe. It is far too easy to get distracted and take longer than planned!
If you need to run around and do errands this summer, and don’t want to bring your dog, why not use a Pawshake pet sitter? Head to www.pawshake.co.nz and enter your suburb in the search bar to see who is nearby in your community!