Constables noticed an increase in the number of unattended pets in vehicles during the 30C heatwave and officers in some cases broke windows to help the dogs. Kent Police, for example, posted a reminder on Facebook, in which the force said the dogs were in severe heat pain – and it could lead to their death.
The message, liked by hundreds, read: “Never leave your dog unattended in a car in hot weather. This seems to be quite common in supermarket car parks, where the owner thinks it will only be a matter minutes but inevitably ends up taking longer.
“Leaving your dog in a car on a hot day can be fatal and officers won’t hesitate to smash a car window to save a dog suffering from the heat.”
Temperatures are set to potentially rise again to 33C on Sunday, which some forecasters say will be the hottest day on record in the UK.
According to the Met Office, “substantial changes to working practices and daily routines” will likely be required, while “road delays and road closures” as well as “delays and cancellations of train journeys and by plane” are possible this weekend.
In the face of expected transport disruption following the heatwave, Network Rail said it had introduced temporary speed restrictions during the hottest hours on parts of the network, including in Essex, to keep trains running and mitigate the effects of rail expansion in the heat, which can cause buckling.
Dog owners have also been warned that they should keep an eye out for their paw-licking dog.
Indeed, dogs often lick their paws if they suffer from burns on their paws.
Dogs are at risk in hot weather because they aren’t able to cool themselves through sweat like humans do – and breeds with long coats are particularly prone to overheating.