hot temperatures and dogs in cars

Dog in Hot Car. What to Do?!

Every year pets die because they were left in a car on a warm day.

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 100 – 120 degrees in mere minutes, so leaving your dog in the car for “just a minute” is dangerous. On a 90+ degree day the interior temperature can reach 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes!

hot temperatures and dogs in cars

Just like people, animals are affected by the heat, but unlike humans they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.

What to do if you come across a dog in a car with no owner in sight:

– Note the car’s make/model, license plate number, location and the time.
– Take down a description of the dog, noting his/her condition. Watch for restlessness, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and lack of coordination. These are all symptoms of heatstroke.
– Ask nearby businesses to make announcements using the vehicle’s make/model to locate the dog’s owner.
– If the owner is not located call the police or local animal control.
– If possible, don’t leave the scene until help has arrived!

dogs and hot days

If your pet shows signs of heatstroke, bring him/her to a vet immediately! Provide your pet with water to drink, and apply cool (not cold), wet towels to the groin area, stomach, chest, and paws. If you have access to a large amount of water, consider spraying or splashing him/her with cool water, to bring body temperature down.

This information is from The Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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2 Responses to “Dog in Hot Car. What to Do?!”
  1. Janet Sterman says:

    I leave my dog in the car with at least 2 windows open. Sometimes it’s so hot I leave the AC running and lock the doors so the dog doesn’t die – but only leave the auto for about 15 min max!

    • Pragmatic Mom says:

      Hi Janet,
      That’s a great solution. You just have a second set of car keys then? One for the car to keep it running and one to unlock it?

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