ASDA pet insurance has launched summer "Pooch Patrols" in all ASDA store car parks. From today, parking attendants will carry out special patrols during daylight hours to make sure pooches are not left to swelter inside hot cars whilst their owners shop in store.
If any pets are spotted in cars by ASDA's Pooch Patrollers, their owners will be called over the tannoy system in store and asked to take their pets to the ASDA Pet Stops (areas to leave dogs tied up outside stores) where plenty of fresh water is available for doggies to drink.
The RSPCA's chief veterinary adviser Tim Miles said: "A dog left in a warm car will quickly begin to suffer from heatstroke and can die an agonising death. On a warm day, these places can resemble an oven. Each year, dogs left alone like this die after literally being cooked alive. There is no safe way to leave a dog like this in warm weather. Leaving windows open and a bowl of water is not enough. Even when the weather is not particularly hot, dogs can suffer from heatstroke as up to 90 per cent of their body is covered in hair."
Gev Lynott, director of financial services at ASDA, said: "The current high temperatures we're experiencing are extremely dangerous for pets left in cars, even if the windows or sunroof are left slightly open. ASDA is urging all pet owners to either leave their pets at home in the shade or if they do bring them shopping, take them to the Pet Stops provided in all ASDA stores where they will be able to remain cool and drink plenty of fresh water."
The RSPCA has the following advice for pet owners in the summer:
Even if you park your car in the shade, the position of the sun will change;
Young and elderly animals are more susceptible to heat;
Leaving windows open or putting a bowl of water does not help;
If a dog becomes overheated, give it a shower immediately or bathe it in cool water. Call a vet as soon as possible; once the dog goes into shock and loses consciousness, it may be too late.
ASDA's Pet Insurance, provided by Allianz Cornhill, offers £1,500 of cover for vet bills for each illness or injury. Cover starts at less than £4 a month for cats and less than £7 a month for dogs. For pet insurance quotes, customers should visit www.asda.com or call 0845 300 5774, 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.