SPCA's plea to owners as it responds to dogs left inside hot cars almost every day

The SPCA says it's responding to callouts of dogs being left inside cars nearly every day this summer. 

It comes after almost 900 complaints of dogs stuck in hot vehicles were lodged with the organisation last year, and it's prompted a plea for owners to be more careful. 

Jim Baltaxe goes everywhere with his dogs during summer.

"They've been from one end of the country to other in this car."

And he's got three steps he follows if Tessa and Minstrel are left in the car while he's out. 

"The way I handle things, three things are important -  shade, water and ventilation."

Unfortunately, not all dog owners are like Baltaxe.

SPCA figures show there were 889 complaints of dogs being left unattended inside hot cars last year, that's up from 625 in 2021. 

As a result 10 dog owners were each slapped with a $300 fine last year, along with a number receiving warning letters. 

As for this year, senior SPCA inspector Georgina Higgins said "we are receiving almost daily callouts over the summer".

Higgins said some dog owners just aren't getting the message. 

"People don't realise how quickly the interior of a vehicle or an enclosed space can heat up, particularly in the warm months, and they also aren't aware that because dogs don't sweat, the ways they cool down is different to us."

If you've no choice but to keep your canine in the car, the SPCA recommends providing good airflow and water. 

"All four windows are open as you can see, and that provides good ventilation for a brief stop," said Higgins.

And if you're unsure what a dog with heat stress looks like. 

"That would start with panting, progress to really intense panting, drooling, and you might see the dog climb down to the foot well of the front or back seats where it's cooler."

Simple steps in a drive to keep your pooch safe this summer.