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Why You Should Never Leave Your Dog in A Hot Car!

During the hot summertime, it is hard to stay cool, everything under the summer seems to be scorching hot and that can be very uncomfortable for people and for dogs it can become dangerous. Even a short walk can lead to heatstroke in your pup, so imagine the dangers of leaving your dog in the car!

On hot days when the temperature is soaring, your car will continue to be hotter then the outside temperature. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a car can grow to be about twenty degrees hotter than the outside temperature in just ten minutes, so even a quick run into the grocery store can become dangerous. Even if you take steps to reduce the heat like rolling your windows down, putting up a sun shade, or even parking in the shade. It won’t be enough to lower the temperature to a survivable temperature, so when you leave a dog in those conditions, they are destined to overheat. Dogs pant to help control their temperature, but on super hot days and in a super hot car it won’t be enough to cool their bodies down.

Even just driving on hot days can be dangerous to your dogs, so it’s important to always keep your air conditioning on, keep your dog out of the sun, and provide them with plenty of water. If you can’t do these things then it may be time to reconsider if this drive is really necessary for your pup. Especially since there are some serious risks to having your dog in a hot car to overheat, including dehydration, heatstroke, and even brain damage. 

If your dog is overheating there are some things you can do to help lower your dogs temperature. The first thing you should do is call your vet so that they can help you care for your dog in the way your dog needs in the moment. If you can’t reach your vet, like if it is late at night, then there are some ways you can help to lower your dogs temperature enough to keep them safe while you wait for help!

A good place to start is to your dog somewhere cool, whether that’s an air conditioned room or in front of a fan while lying on the cool floor. You can also cool them down by slowly pouring water over their body, focusing on their neck, stomach, and thighs. You don’t want to douse them in water because this could cause their temperature to change to quickly and can actually be detrimental.  You should also make sure you are offering them small amounts of water so that they don’t drink it too fast -- this could cause water to end up in their lungs. You also don’t want to offer them ice cubes because this can once again change their temperature to fast!

If you notice a dog stuck in a hot car there are some ways that you can help! If the car is parked by a business then take down the information and ask the business to make an announcement so that the person can let their dog out. If it’s not near a business or you just can’t locate the owner then you should call the nonemergency number of animal control or police to get help. There are several states that protect you if you need to take action and remove the dog from the car yourself, so make sure to educate yourself on the laws in your state so you know what you can do to help. 

As always the best way to help your dog is by preventing the danger in the first place! Keep your dogs out of hot cars as much as possible, because in the heateverytemperature can become dangerous. Always make sure you are providing them with ways to keep cool and hydrated as to prevent overheating. Your dog is a part of the family and you want to do what’s best for them!

Photo by Maria Orlova

Written by Dani Forte