Covering the car in hot weather
There seems to be a regular report of neglect with dogs in left in hot cars, but with a little forethought and planning a hot day can be enjoyed with the dog.
I have been attending dog events for over 30 years and have developed and extremely good system for keeping the car cool.
- When you first park the car with the windscreen facing the worst of the sun for most of the day.
- The very first thing after you switch off the engine is to cover all the windows, a flat kingsize sheet will cover most cars, white is best as it reflects the heat. Trap the sheet into the doors or windows, under the windscreen wipers etc. Do not shut the sheet inside the car as any sunlight on the glass will heat up the interior. This goes the same as those wiggly cardboard sun protectors for the inside of your windscreen – they may protect the seats from overheating but the air in the car will still get extremely hot.
- If the weather is getting extreme you can always throw a bucket of water over the sheet to reduce the car temperature. Your sheet protection can keep the car from rising more than a few degrees from when you arrive, so it is well worth the effort. But remember no glass part must be exposed to the sun.
- Open your tail gate to allow air to circulate. If your dogs are in crates all the better as they can enjoy the shade and smell the air. Obviously this is not secure to be left unattended unless in the Wag More car park, but if you are nearby you can keep an eye on the dogs.
- If the dogs do start getting too warm you can cool them with cold towels on their coat and underside, a plant water sprayer is also useful, although not all will like it. Make sure there is always plenty of drinking water.
Remember a fried dog is on a one way ticket, recovery is extremely rare.
Opening a couple of windows is simply not enough, so unless you can take your dog with you, even with a good sheet cover dogs should never be left shut in a closed car.