Scotland’s animal welfare charity reports a 65% increase in calls to their animal helpline since 2014 from concerned members of the public reporting dogs left locked in cars.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “It’s a common misconception that Scotland doesn’t get warm enough to cause a dog distress when left alone in a car over the summer months.
“We’re seeing an increased number of calls to our helpline proving that the public are also concerned about this issue. Unfortunately it also means that there’s more for us to do to prevent it happening.
“Leaving a dog in a car can cause the animal great distress, and in some cases, lead to death.”
He added: “Studies have shown that leaving the windows open only keeps the car cooler by around two degrees, which isn’t a significant amount when you consider that dogs are unable to sweat and therefore have no way to cool themselves down.
“Many people don’t realise that that even on warm, cloudy days, vehicles can effectively turn into ovens and dogs can overheat in minutes.
“Recent research showed that whilst 80% of people wouldn’t risk leaving their dog alone in their car on a warm day, 20% would feel comfortable leaving their dog for 10 minutes or more.
“Our message? Dogs die in hot cars, even on warm days - don’t risk it. Where possible leave your dog at home with plenty of available water and the ability to keep cool.”
Scottish SPCA posters highlighting the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars are available to be displayed in local communities. To request copies please phone the charity on 03000 999 999 or email [email protected]