Have you ever left your dog in a hot car?
“Never leave your pet in a parked car when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. Not even with the windows partway down, not even in the shade, not even for a quick errand. Dogs and cats can’t sweat like humans, so they pant to lower their body temperature. If they’re inside a car, recycling very hot air, panting gives no relief, and heat stroke can happen quickly.” ~ Michael Dix DMV, Director, Best Friends Animal Society
A parked car is a deathtrap for a dog. On a day where the temperature is 78 degrees, the temperature in a parked car can escalate to 100 degrees in minutes. And, if it’s 90 degrees outside the temperature in a car can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
A dog can sustain brain damage or die from heatstroke in 15 minutes in a hot car. This is because it is extra hard for them to stay cool by panting.
View the table below from the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Symptoms of Heat Stroke in a Dog
Here are the symptoms of heat stroke you should look for:
- Excessive thirst
- Thick saliva
- Heavy panting
- Lack of appetite
- Dark tongue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Bloody diarrhea
- Lack of coordination.
How to Help a Dog in Danger of Heat Stroke
If a dog shows any of the above symptoms, get them out of the heat immediately. The best place is in an air-conditioned vehicle or building, and then to a veterinarian right away. Time is of the essence. If you are able to transport the dog yourself, take them into an air-conditioned building and call animal control. Tell them it is an emergency.
Provide drinking water and spray them with cool water if you have access to a garden hose or tub of cool water. You can also place the dog in front of a fan. Applying cool, wet towels on the dog can also help. Don’t use ice water and don’t overcool the animal.
The State of Colorado “Law of Immunity” passed in 2017
In 2017, the Colorado General Assembly passed a new law, HB17-1179, which provides “immunity for a person who renders emergency assistance from a locked vehicle” – in other words, making it legal to break into a locked car to rescue a dog or cat, or an at-risk person. (At-risk persons are defined in Colorado law as persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities, or persons over 70 years of age). This law came about because of citizens’ concerns over the frequency of dogs left in hot cars while the owners were elsewhere. Colorado is now one of 28 states with laws regarding pets left in hot cars. Some counties and municipalities, including Denver, also have their own ordinances regarding protection of pets from the elements. If you are concerned about a pet (or person) locked in a hot car, contact your local law enforcement agency.
Take caution when walking your pet in hot weather
If the pavement is too hot for you to hold your hand on, it is too hot for the dog’s paws. Walk them in early morning or evening during cooler hours. The same rules stand for runners or bikers that take their companion dogs with them.
Take care of your outdoor pets or livestock as well
Horses, goats, donkeys, chickens, and all other outdoor pets deserve the same care in hot weather.
Always make sure they have a place to get into some shade for relief from the blazing sun.
Always make sure they have access to fresh water and keep it filled.
Chickens can be particularly vulnerable so always give them a safe shady place they can retreat to.
It is important to remember that if we are suffering from the heat, so are our beloved pets. Keep them safe.
Please check out our website at Inside and Out Pet Care LLC.
You can also call at 970-297-8689. We care about your pets and treat them like family.