A supermarket giant has set up special patrols in its car parks today to ensure dogs are not left in cars by their owners during the heatwave.
Tesco has joined forces with the RSPCA to carry out checks at some of its stores to make sure shoppers don’t leave their pets inside vehicles as temperatures soar to as high as 31C.
Staff at the supermarket have also been trained so they know what to look out for and how to help if a dog is showing signs of heatstroke.
The initiative was set up at Tesco branches cross Birmingham, throughout the wider West Midlands, and some across the rest of England this weekend, reports BirminghamLive.
“We’re working with the RSPCA & all of our colleagues in store have received training to ensure animal welfare is protected,” a Tesco spokesperson confirmed. “Our colleagues regularly patrol our car parks & are given guidance on what to do if they spot a dog unattended in a car.”
The patrols came as the UK heatwave was due to reach skyrocketing temperatures as high as 31C in some places. But with the hot weather comes a big risk for pet dogs.
Emergency animal care provider Vets Now also warned rising temperatures could increase the risk of heat stroke in dogs.
The vet service sees a spike in callouts as the weather warms up and has warned that temperatures above 20C put dogs at risk, and that survival rates for dogs with heat stroke is just 50%.
Dave Leicester, head of telehealth at Vets Now, said: “All dogs can overheat if left without water or in hot conditions for too long. So, on hotter summer days it’s best to walk your dog in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.”
The RSPCA recently put out a warning to dog owners that dogs must not be left inside cars, even for just a few minutes, during hot weather.
The charity said that even if parked in the shade or with the window cracked open, dogs lives were still at risk in temperatures in the low twenties, as the interior of the car could reach up to 47 degrees.
The main danger is heatstroke which, even after treatment, is often fatal to dogs.
“Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog,’ the spokesperson for the charity said.
“A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.”
The RSPCA also stated that people should immediately dial 999 if they spot a dog inside a car and showing signs of heatstroke. Learn what to look out for on their website here.