Dogs in Hot Cars

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Most people realize how quickly a car heats up when parked in the sun on a hot day, but many people don’t think a car parked on an overcast day or in the shade can heat up just as quickly. Cracking a window an inch or two just doesn’t provide enough air flow for a dog to be able to cool themselves off. Many people don’t knowthat dogs don’t sweat and therefore cannot cool themselves off in the same way that humans can. A car parked in temperatures of 78 degrees will reach a temperature of 120 degrees in 30 minutes or less. Despite warnings in media, every year dogs die in hot cars. So what can you when you see a dog unattended in a car?

Call the police or local animal control. Thankfully many towns, cities and states have made it illegal to leave a dog unattended in a hot car.

Jot down the number of the license plate, check with local businesses, and ask them to announce the plate number over their speaker system and inform them you have called the police.

Stay with the dog until help arrives.

If you have ice available, slip it inside the car through the window.

Know the signs of heat stroke and be prepared to break a window if you feel the situation becomes life threatening. Signs include extreme salivation, heavy panting, red gums and tongue, lethargy, lack of coordination, diarrhea, vomiting, and rapid pulse.

Carry copies of hot dogs in car fact sheets (you can find these on the Internet with a quick search) and hand them out when you see someone leaving a dog unattended in a car.

Carry inexpensive thermometers available at your local dollar store that you can slip inside a car window along with an infographic.