Dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car

Dogs love to be with us, and vice versa. But being a responsible pet parent means knowing when to bring your dog along for a car ride, and when to leave him at home. Keep your pooch safe and healthy by planning ahead this summer.

A dog’s body temperature averages 38°C, and they are only able to physically withstand approximately 41°C for a very short time. That’s a difference of only three degrees! After that, a dog can become victim to heat stroke, brain damage and death.

When you consider that a car – even parked in the shade with the windows cracked open – can be 50°C hotter inside than the temperature outside within an hour, it creates a deadly situation for a pet that can’t cry for help. Leave your pet at home when running errands, no matter how quick you plan to be.

Signs of heatstroke in dogs

  • Exaggerated panting
  • Drooling
  • Thick saliva
  • Red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Wobbly or uncoordinated movement
  • Staring or glazed expression
  • Weakness
  • Muscle tremors or convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shock

If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, take him to a cool location and decrease his body temperature by wetting him thoroughly with cool water (not cold). If symptoms persist, visit your veterinarian immediately.

To learn more about the dangers of leaving pets unattended in hot vehicles, visit animalwellnessmagazine.com/dogs-hot-cars.