Help Keep Dogs OUT of HOT Cars!

You love your dog, right? That’s why you should never leave them in a car on a hot day—or even on a warm day. 

Every year, dogs suffer and die when people make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car—even for “just a minute”—while they run an errand. Parked cars are death traps for dogs: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes. That’s pretty effin’ hot.  

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Animals can sustain brain damage or die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs, because they mainly cool themselves by panting and can only sweat through their paw pads. 

If you see a dog left alone in a car, write down the car’s color, make, model, and license plate number. Have the owner paged in the store where the car is parked, or call local humane authorities or the police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog. Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved. This is a matter of life and death. 

If police are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal, and then wait for authorities to arrive. 

Watch for heatstroke symptoms, such as restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, a dark tongue, a rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of coordination. If a dog shows any of these symptoms, get them out of the heat, preferably into an air-conditioned vehicle, and then to a veterinarian immediately. If you’re unable to transport the dog yourself, take them into an air-conditioned building if possible, call animal control, and say that it’s an emergency. 

Provide water to drink, and, if possible, spray the dog with a garden hose or immerse them in a tub of cool (not cold) water for up to two minutes in order to lower the animal’s body temperature gradually. You can also place the dog in front of an electric fan. Applying cool, wet towels to the groin area, stomach, chest, and paws can also help. Be careful not to overcool the animal. 

Give your pups an extra cuddle tonight, share this article when warm weather comes along, and thank yourself for being a hero to dogs! ❤️

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