The Kennel Club urges owners to check before they travel as many garden centres and destinations no longer dog-friendly due to coronavirus.
With warm weather and sunshine set to sweep the UK ahead of the bank holiday weekend, a new warning from dog welfare experts has been issued to owners to protect their dogs during the hot weather.
The Kennel Club has teamed up with a coalition of vets, rescue and rehoming charities, police and welfare organisations to highlight the dangers of warm weather to dogs as part of the annual Dogs Die in Hot Cars Campaign.
The easing of lockdown, which allows people in England to travel by car for dog walks and visit some businesses like garden centres, could see more dogs left in cars – which could be fatal in warm weather, the Kennel Club warns.
The organisation, which is dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs, is urging all owners not to leave their dogs in a car, even with the windows down, and to check before you travel – as many usually dog-friendly garden centres have changed their rules due to Covid-19.
Similarly, with social distancing measures in place, queues can be significantly longer and in many shop, one-way systems are in place, meaning dogs could be left for much longer in vehicles in staggering temperatures.
Bill Lambert, Head of Health and Welfare at the Kennel Club comments: “Regardless of the easing of lockdown, we would urge owners to only travel if they can ensure that their dog can be kept cool, and to check any destination they are travelling to is dog-friendly so they are never left in a vehicle.
“Due to coronavirus, we have heard many places that are usually dog-friendly have changed their rules and unless owners are aware of this, more dogs will be left in hot cars. Please check before you travel – this situation can be easily avoided.
“In an ideal world, owners can take their dogs with them when they shop or go to a garden centre. This is one of the reasons why the Kennel Club encourages businesses to be dog-friendly and welcome our four-legged friends rather than insist that they wait outside or in the car. However, we recognise the need to adapt during the pandemic and quite simply, we just want to make dog owners aware of the potential new challenges lockdown brings and how they can best care for their dogs at this time, especially during hot weather.”
The organisation has released practical tips and advice to keep dogs cool at home during the expected hot weather:
- Create a shaded space to keep your dog cool
- Give them a paddling pool to splash around in
- Add ice cubes to their water bowls
- Walk them early morning or evening and avoid the midday sun
- Walk in shaded areas
The Kennel Club has also created a hub of resources for dog owners to help with their pets during the coronavirus outbreak – which can be found at: www.thekennelclub.org.uk/coronavirus.