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The Dangers Of A Hot Car For Your Pet


Now that we are finally in the summer season, we can take our dogs on road trips, drive to parks, etc… However, to ensure your dog's safety, proper precautions must be taken. Every year hundreds of dogs die from hot cars, and hundreds more suffer serious and long-lasting injuries. We can still take our dogs on car rides but we must not be reckless.

The number one risk for dogs in cars is overheating.  Dogs cannot stabilize their body temperature as effectively as humans. Even parked cars with rolled-down windows can be dangerous to dogs. The interior of a car can reach over 100°F (38°C) in only 10 minutes. This is not only harmful but potentially fatal to your dog. 

What Are The Signs?

While we might think that our dogs are safe when only left in cars for short amounts of time, heatstroke can happen in under 30 minutes depending on the temperature. Some of the signs of heatstroke can be, Heavy panting, Excessive drooling, Red or pale gums, Rapid heart rate, Vomiting or diarrhea, Lethargy or weakness, and seizures. If you see any of these signs please contact your vet immediately!

What Are The Effects?
The side effects of heatstroke in dogs can be extremely severe. Some of the side effects can include,  acute collapse, tachypnea, spontaneous bleeding, shock signs, and mental abnormalities, including depression, disorientation or delirium, seizures, stupor, and coma. While some dogs can recover from heatstroke in 24-48 hours many others can not and might damage their quality of life even if they survive.


Do not, under any circumstances, leave your pet alone in a parked automobile. Even with half of the windows open, your car can reach 120° in just a few minutes.  Your dog may rapidly experience suffocation, heatstroke, or brain damage. In addition, keep in mind that if a good samaritan sees your dog suffering in a hot car they are legally allowed to break your windows to release the dog. If your dog unfortunately does experience heat stroke, you should first remove it from the vehicle, then continually apply cold water and ice packs, and then transport your dog to a veterinarian.


In sum, when taking your dog to your car please remember to never leave your dog unattended, as very serious side effects and repercussions can be easily avoidable. If your dog does endure side effects from heat please take the proper safety measures. Let's have a safe and fun summer for humans and dogs alike.


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