Vets Now has been helping dog owners keep their canines cool with its nationwide Be Heatstroke Aware campaign this summer.

Realising many dog owners still weren’t fully aware of the dangers of leaving their dogs in cars during the warmer weather, the out-of-hours and emergency veterinary team came up with a plan to drive the message home.

The company – which has 52 emergency clinics throughout the UK – had thousands of specially-designed in-car temperature gauges produced and, by working with a number of regional newspapers across the UK, ran a campaign to give the gauges away to dog owners all over the country.

According to Vets Now, as people began to collect their free temperature gauges and display them in their cars, word about the campaign quickly spread. It was even contacted by a dog walking group asking for more gauges to help keep their members’ canine companions safe.

The campaign also gained momentum via social media, said Vets Now, with the company posting articles, infographics, tips and competitions. The campaign’s posts received 6,071 likes, 4,529 shares and 397,000 reach, with one infographic being shared 1,184 times.

Head of clinical operations at Vets Now Laura Playforth said: “Sadly, our vets see a lot of cases of heatstroke in dogs during the summer months. It’s particularly devastating as it’s so easily avoided and can often result in the tragic loss of a beloved pet.

“We wanted to come up with some way to educate dog owners and really demonstrate how quickly dogs can fall victim to heatstroke in a hot car.

“After lots of discussion with the team, we realised in-car temperature gauges, as well as social media posts, were the perfect way to help people understand the dangers and, hopefully, modify their behaviour when it comes to taking their dogs out in warmer weather.”

The campaign’s been a great success so far, she said.

“The online engagement we’ve seen speaks for itself, but, in addition, we’ve had really positive feedback and, hopefully, there’ll be fewer cases of canine heatstroke in the future.”

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