You’re making a quick grocery run, and decided to bring your pup along. After all, she gave you those puppy dog eyes and you know how much she loves sticking her head out the window. You get there and realize that there are no dogs allowed, so you decide to leave Fido in the car.
Well, think twice before you do so.
On hot days, a car’s internal temperature can climb quickly– a grocery trip that takes 10-15 minutes could make your car super hot, with the inside of your car being 20 degrees hotter than the weather outside. Experts say that even if you crack open a window to provide your pooch with some ventilation, it doesn’t help with airing out the internal temperature. Did you know that dogs can’t sweat like people do? Their fur coats keep heat in, and panting is one of the main ways that dogs regulate temperatures. However with humidity inside of a car, panting gets harder, and your dog gets hotter. The effect of extreme heat on your pup can damage their internal organs.
So what should you do if you see a dog in a hot car? Here are 5 steps that you can take to help save the dog’s life.
- Collect Information
Take down the car’s make, model, and license plate number and write the information down. If you don’t have a pen and paper, type the information into your phone.
- Find the Owner
Only take this step if there’s time. Remember, it only takes moments for a dog to suffer brain damage from a heated car. Ask the store manager if you can get help over the intercom. Be polite, but stress the urgency of the situation. At this point, your job is to get the message out there.
- Monitor the Dog
See how the dog is, and evaluate its condition. Wait by the car until the owner arrives. Check for signs of heat exhaustion, like excessive panting, or the dog attempting to find shade in the car. Often a scared pooch will try to hide under the car seats to try and cool off. Also, if the dog is scratching at the window or whining, these could be signs of heat stroke.
- Contact Local Authorities
If the owner still does not appear, call the local authorities. They can come and open the car safely to get the dog out. If it seems like the dog is suffering and there isn’t time for the authorities to arrive, then do what is necessary to save the dog. In some states, it is legal to break into a car to save a dog after you’ve tried to contact the owner and the local authorities.
So next time it’s hot outside, leave your pup at home. Trust us, it’s better for everyone’s safety and will keep your doggo healthy and happy.
Do you have any tips to help your puppy stay cool on a hot day? Let us know in the comments below.