Dog owners in Lichfield and Burntwood are being warned to take extra care as temperatures soar over the Bank Holiday weekend.
A mini-heatwave last month saw an increase in calls to the RSPCA’s hotline, with more of the same expected this time around.
The Bank Holiday also coincides with the national Dogs Die In Hot Cars Awareness Day, which aims to highlight the danger of leaving animals in vehicles, conservatories and outbuildings during spells of hot weather.
Last year saw a spike in calls about pets left in warm environments.
RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “It’s really concerning to see that the number of calls about this issue actually rose last year when it had been steadily falling over previous years.
“We had hoped that the message was finally getting through but, sadly, it seems that this may not be the case.
“It’s so dangerous to leave your pet inside any hot environment whether it be a car, a conservatory or even a caravan. The temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C within minutes, even when the outside temperature is just 22°C – this can be fatal for a dog.”
Lisa added that the time it takes for heat to overcome a dog is shorter than many owners think.
“Opening a window, parking in the shade or leaving a bowl of water for your dog isn’t enough and still leaves dogs in serious danger of suffering from heatstroke,” she said. “And popping into the shop for five minutes is long enough for your dog to be affected.
“Dogs are covered in fur and do not sweat in the same way as humans do. Unlike humans, dogs pant to help keep themselves cool. The effectiveness of panting is reduced at high temperatures and humidities.
“Cars heat up very rapidly in hot – or even warm – weather. Air-conditioning can disguise the danger that a dog will face once the engine is turned off.
“We would simply ask dog owners never to leave their pet unattended in a parked or stationary vehicle and, if the weather is warm, to leave them at home where they can access cool, shady parts of the house and lots of water.”