As temperatures warm up car-bound pets can be in trouble. Snub-nosed dogs such as boxers and pugs have an even higher risk of overheating because they don’t cool efficiently.
Cracking windows a few inches accomplishes practically nothing. In fact, researchers learned that when it’s a sunny 78 degrees, the temperature in a parked car with windows cracked rises at least 32 degrees in 30 minutes. So: 78 degrees to 110 in half an hour.
A matter of minutes, five or 10 minutes is all it takes on a hot day for a dog to wind up organ-damaged or dead.
If your dog is unable to reduce his temperature, he will develop heatstroke. Here are the signs:
- As the dog’s temperature rises it will pant to cool off
- Frantic, the dog will try to get out, scratching at windows or digging at the seat or floor.
- Very quickly the dog, begins vomiting, having diarrhea and lapsing into unconsciousness.
- Death follows swiftly
If caught quickly enough, some dogs can be saved. It’s crucial to open car windows, turn on air conditioning and race to the nearest vet, dousing the dog in cool water if possible during the trip, putting something cool under each armpit and against the groin. Let your dog drink small sips of water. But, getting to the vet is more important than looking for dousing supplies. If you’ve caught it early enough and you’re real lucky, there will be no permanent damage. Either way you will suffer:
- The likely cost “several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars” to save a dog with heatstroke.
- Or worse, the loss of your loving pet
- The guilt for leaving your pet in the car
- Not to mention the misery the animal has endured.
Take your dog inside with you or leave him at home but do not leave him in the vehicle for even a minute! He will thank you.