Just as it is for humans, summer is a testing time for canines too. Concerned pet owners often alert the RSPCA in Victoria at this time of year, after animals have been locked or left in hot cars. Often, people make the misconception of thinking a quick errand into the shops can be harmless and that leaving a pet in the car for a few minutes is unlikely to cause any harm. But, you pick up a conversation with a friend and it is a good 30 minutes before you return to your vehicle. About six minutes, or perhaps even less, is what it takes for a canine or other animal to die from extreme heat and exhaustion inside a car.
The Metropolitan Ambulance Service in Melbourne conducted some tests and found that, even when the interior of the car was a cool 20 degrees, in about 10 minutes, the temperature rose to as much as 44 degrees—despite the external temperature hovering around 29 degrees. Another 10 minutes later, the temperature rose further to a lethal 60 plus degrees. This shows how sensitive the canines are to summer temperatures.
Panting is one way dogs are able to keep themselves cool. When the air surrounding them is hot, and there is no access to water, dogs have no means of regulating body temperature. You can minimise this risk by using a pet diner waterer, though leaving your dog unattended for long spells can still be fraught with risk. If you are going to be away over the weekend, you may want to try our auto feeders for smaller canines.
Leaving the windows open or parking the car in shade is not enough
Leaving the pet at the back of your vehicle without adequate water, shelter and shade is also equally risky, since they can suffer exhaustion, dehydration and heat very quickly. Similarly, leaving car windows open, or partially open, is no help to beat the severe heat either. A better option is to leave the pet at home, particularly when you know that you could be away from the vehicle for several minutes while on your errands. With access to water and more comfortable surroundings at home, they are better off than being alone in a car.
Just like kids, pets do love going around with you in the car or on a walk. But, away from home, they need just that extra bit of care and protection. Avoid leaving your pet in a hot vehicle at all times, and you’ll be able to ensure your furry friend is kept happy, safe and healthy.