With the arrival of summer, we sadly start to see dogs in hot cars make headlines once more. Often it is accidental, when a driver forgets their pet is in the vehicle. Other times it is through a lack of understanding about the consequences which can occur. At Beavers Pet Products, we’re all about ensuring pets throughout NZ are loved and cared for, which is why we’re doing our bit to explain the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars. If we can help save one animal from an untimely death, we’re winning!
Consequences of Leaving Dogs in Hot Cars
Each year the SPCA issues reminders to pet owners about the risks of putting a dog in a car over the summer months. National chief inspector Charles Cadwallader said, "Our summer temperatures can be merciless, and overheating causes appalling suffering and can lead to an equally appalling death.”
The SPCA is also quick to point out that temperatures rise very quickly in a car. This occurs even if the windows are open and the car is parked in the shade. For instance, the temperature can rise from 30 to 39 degrees in only ten minutes and can go even hotter on warmer days. At 40 degrees, a dog cannot last more than a few minutes before suffering from brain damage, followed by death.
Because of this, the SPCA recommends that during summer months, you leave your dog at home rather than taking it in the car. Cadwallader also said, "There are many reasons why you might take your dog in the car with you-you may think that you're doing him a favour, giving him company. However, the moment you step out of that car, leaving your pet at the mercy of the elements, you risk losing more than just your best mate."
The introduction of a $300 fine for drivers who leave dogs unattended in a hot car will hopefully work. However, we agree that the best option is to keep your pouch safely at home in the shade when you head out.
Steps to Take if You See a Heat Distressed Dog
A dog who has heatstroke will be panting heavily, have vomiting and diarrhoea, red gums and tongue and be drooling badly. If you unfortunately see a dog left alone in a hot car, or who is suffering from the heat, it’s important you take immediate action. This means removing it from the heat and cooling it down quickly with room temperature water, especially around their stomach and legs. We’re not suggesting that you smash a car’s window or enter it illegally to rescue a dog, but that you should contact the police and SPCA as a matter of urgency for them to take action.
In summer we also see dogs being walked on hot footpaths and roads. This can lead to burns on a dog’s paws and even tar becoming stuck. Because of this, we also recommend that owners wait until later in the day or go very early to walk their dogs.
Remember that providing your pet with plenty of fresh water is so vital year round, but especially so in summer. If your dog gets hot easily even when in your home, investing in a cooling mat is a great way to keep them comfortable and chilled out!
At Beavers Pet Products, we’re proud of the fact we’ll donate 5% of every sale to your choice of pet rescue service! Helping pets is something we love to do and you can help us help those less fortunate simply by shopping at our online pet store today!