A Northumberland County Council employee helped a distressed dog who was locked in a car yesterday.
The pet dog was left in the Keel Row car park in Blyth while its owners went shopping.
The female Parking Services Warden immediately alerted the Dog Warden to the incident.
The owners returned to the vehicle and were spoken to and advised not to leave animals unattended in cars on warm days.
Susan Gilbert, a leading expert in canine development and behaviour, said: “Heatstroke can be fatal, but some dogs are more prone to suffer from it then others.
“Dogs with short snouts and long haired breeds are much more susceptible to suffering in the heat.
“It’s important to never leave dogs in conservatories, caravans and especially cars. Whatever the temperature is outside – it will be double in a car. Leaving the window open or putting a shade up won’t keep your car cool.
“The temperature inside a car can rise very quickly – if it’s 21 outside it will rise to 38 in the car within 10 minutes. Also walking on pavements in the heat can burn pads, if its too hot for you to walk barefoot its too hot for a dog.”
Heatstroke develops when dogs can’t reduce their body temperature. Symptoms to look out for include heavy panting, vomiting and lethargy.
Susan, who co-owns Central Bark Day Care and Training Centre, in Morpeth says heatstroke is common but can easily be avoided.
“You should never over exercise your dog in hot weather, make sure there is a cool or shaded area outside and if you can get a paddling pool – a child’s sandpit is perfect for this.
“It goes without saying but always make sure there is plenty of water for them to drink.”
She added: “If you do think your dog is suffering from heatstroke ring your vet immediately and try and lower their body temperature by placing cool wet towels on them – never use cold water.
“You can use a cool shower or even a fan and spray water into the breeze.
“Something all pet owners need to be aware of is safety in the home during warm weather.
“There have been several cases of house fires which have been started due to the sun shining through a window, bouncing of a mirror and the heat reflection hitting curtains and settees. So if you can remember to move mirrors or objects that might reflect the heat.”
To find out more tips on dog warm weather safety log on to www.dogtrainingnortheast.com or find central bark on Facebook.