The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with the windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill your dog. Leaving your dog in a car with the air conditioning on is also taking a risk; many pets have died because of a faulty air-conditioning system.
During warm weather dog parents must take precautions against the danger of heat exhaustion and heatstroke for their dog.
Dogs cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws. On summer days the air and upholstery in your vehicle can heat up to high temperatures that make it impossible for pets to cool themselves. It is best if you leave your dog at home where they will be more comfortable.
Symptoms of Heatstroke
Symptoms of heatstroke
- Exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting)
- rapid or erratic pulse
- anxious or staring expression
- weakness and muscle tremors
- lack of coordination
- tongue and lips red (which may eventually turn bluish in colour)
- convulsions or vomiting;
- collapse, coma and death
Emergency Treatment for Dogs
If your dog shows symptoms of heatstroke follow these instructions:
- Immediately move the animal to a cool, shady place
- Wet the dog with cool water
- Fan vigorously to promote evaporation. This process will cool the blood, which reduces the dog's core temperature
- Do not apply ice. This constricts blood flow which will inhibit cooling.
- Allow the dog to drink some cool water
- Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment
If you see a dog in a car on a hot day, call 911