Published: 00:01, 22 May 2014
Kent dog owners are more likely to leave their pets in a hot car than their mobile phones, according to research out today.
A poll conducted by the Dogs Trust in the county revealed almost half of those quizzed in Kent believed it was OK to leave their dog in a car if they open a window or park in the shade.
In fact, more than two-thirds would be happy to leave their dog alone in their vehicle, compared to just 9% their phone... even for a few minutes.
That compares with three-quarters of drivers who wouldn't be happy to leave their child alone in a car - even for five minutes.
The poll comes as AA call-outs to dogs locked in parked cars has risen by 50% in past six years.
Now dogs welfare charity the Dogs Trust has launched a campaign to warn dog owners of the dangers of leaving their pets in parked cars, even for a few minutes.
Research unveiled as part of Dogs Trust’s campaign shows that despite being a nation of dog lovers, more than one in four UK dog owners admitted to leaving their dogs unattended in cars.
Even leaving a window open is no bar to overheating.
In fact a dog can die in less than 20 minutes if its body temperature exceeds 41C, the charity revealed.
In just a matter of minutes, the dog’s suffering will show through excessive panting, whimpering or barking.
"The number one danger is the death of your dog" - Adam Levy
This will develop into a loss of muscle control and ultimately the kidneys will stop working, the brain will become irreversibly damaged and the heart will stop.
Adam Levy, of the Canterbury branch of the charity, said: "The number one danger is the death of your dog.
"It doesn't take long - even with the windows open and parked in the shade - for temperatures to rise and the knock-on effects of that to be the death of your dog."
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