It can take as little as six minutes for a dog locked in a hot car to overheat with sometimes fatal results. If you know you are going to be away from your car for even a couple of minutes, it’s better to leave your dog at home where they are comfortable and have access to water. If your dog is with you and you have no other option, take them out of the car and tie them up in the shade with a bowl of water.
Ambulance Victoria conducted a series of tests on a 29-degree day that showed it only takes 10 minutes for the inside temperature of a car to rise from 20 degrees to 44 degrees. It then only takes another 10 minutes for the temperature to rise to over 60 degrees – an extremely dangerous level, especially for dogs. Common misconceptions include that tinted windows, parking in the shade or leaving the windows open reduce the risk to your dog– but this is not the case. None of these make a significant different to the inside temperature of a car.
If your dog becomes heat stressed they may start by panting, drooling or becoming restless. If they are in a bad way they will become weaker over time, their gums may change colour and they could begin to stagger, vomit or even have a seizure. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to a vet immediately. If you suspect they are heat stressed, you should also try to bring their body temperature down at a steady rate. Begin by spraying cool water onto their body and using a fan. You can also rub water on their armpits, foot pads and groin. Be careful not to use ice though, as this may cool your dog down faster than is safe.
Remember to never leave your dog in a car on a hot day and have a safe and fun Summer with your pet.
Please contact us at Ovens & Kiewa Veterinary Hospital if you'd like any more information.
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