Blog: Simon WarburtonTime to assess canine greenhouse effect

Simon Warburton | 4 June 2010

In the northern hemisphere the nights are becoming ever longer and the days ever warmer.

And here in the UK we've recently enjoyed - by our standards anyway - a scorcher of a weekend where temperatures soared past a heady 27C.

But as the mercury heads northwards there are also consequences for driving quite apart from the usual tips to check tyres, oil, water, battery etc.

As modern cars start to feature ever-more glass and panoramic roofs, part of those consequences are that interiors heat up more rapidly.

Many people have dogs and many like to take them around in cars as if they are part of the family. Which in many cases they are.

But every year, there are horrifying tales of owners who - thoughtlessly or otherwise - leave their pets in vehicles which rapidly turn into boiling greenhouses.

Apparelling, it takes four minutes for a dog with no access to air or water in a stifingly hot car to become brain damaged and little time thereafter to die.

There are some ingenious devices to help however. A cage can be fitted in the boot of a car to protect belongings and allow the trunk to remain open for air to circulate. There are anti-spill dog bowls to provide water and of course, as a bare minimum, windows can be left open.

But even parking in shade is no guarantee the temperature won't soar. Dogs don't sweat like humans, they clearly pant to lose moisture.

There was a recent story where apparently a car was broken into by a passer-by, who noticed a dog in clear distress, much to the subsequent annoyance of the owner, who, extraordinarily complained about the damage.

This isn't rocket science but as the days heat up, it pays not to leave any pet more than a couple of minutes in glass-heavy cabins which can rapidly become death traps.


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