Why It’s Dangerous to Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car

As we get into peak summer season, it can be tempting to bring our beloved companions along with us to enjoy the sunshine together wherever possible. Keeping the hot temperatures in mind, it’s important that pet parents plan accordingly to ensure our furry friends aren’t left in a hot car at any time as the effects can be life-threatening. It may not seem like a long time to us, but even a few minutes left alone in a hot car can have severe, even fatal, consequences for our pets. 

Plan ahead 

If you have errands to run and the places you need to visit aren’t pet-friendly, the safest option is to leave your dog at home. After spending a day outside with your four-legged friend, you may realize that you need to pick something up at a store where pets aren’t welcome. Leaving your dog in the car for a few minutes while you run into the store may not seem like a big deal, but making a pit stop to drop them off at home beforehand is the smart thing to do. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your dog at home alone, ask a friend or family member if they can watch them as this is much safer than leaving them in a hot car.

Dogs and sweat

Dogs have sweat glands in their paw pads and noses where there is no fur. However, dogs primarily cool themselves down by panting rather than sweating. As dogs don’t have the ability to sweat in the same way that humans do, they feel the dangerous effects of a hot car much quicker than us.

Cars heat up quickly

If you’ve sat in your car in the summer with the engine turned off, you’ve probably noticed how quickly it heats up. Now, imagine how it feels for your dog who is covered in fur and doesn’t have the ability to sweat and release heat like we do. It only takes a few minutes for the inside of a car to reach dangerous temperatures, putting your dog in a life-threatening situation.

While some of us may think that leaving the windows cracked can help keep the car cool enough, this does not make enough of a difference to help our dogs cool down. It may also cross our minds that our dogs can be left in the car if the air conditioning is running. However, it’s not a good idea to do so as the air conditioning could malfunction and turn off, leaving your dog in a very dangerous situation.

Heatstroke warnings

It’s important that pet parents are aware of the symptoms of heatstroke in dogs so medical help can be sought out immediately if needed: 

  • Excessive panting
  • Heavy drooling
  • Increased heart rate
  • Red gums
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration, decreased urine production
  • Muscle tremors
  • Warm to the touch

Bring your pets to Ren’s 

Ren’s Pets happily welcomes pets at all of our locations across Canada. Next time you have some shopping to do for your furry friend please bring them in the store with you, we’d love to say hello! 

Helping an animal in distress

If you come across an animal in distress, call your local SPCA, humane society, police department or RCMP detachment for help.

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