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Dog owners are reminded of the dangers of warm weather as lockdown looks ready to ease

By Kirsty Brown

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With lockdown restrictions set to ease and summer well on its way, 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 could allow businesses like garden centres to reopen, could see more dogs left in cars – which can be fatal in warm weather.

The organisation, which is the largest in the UK dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs, is urging all owners not to leave their dog 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 shops, one-way systems are in place, meaning dogs could be left for much longer in vehicles in staggering temperatures.

Kennel Club's Bill Lambert said: “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.

"We do, however, 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.

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