Heat Stress- Dogs left in cars

Hot cars

Remember never to leave your dog or cat in the car on a hot day, even with the window down, or tied up on a hot ute tray. Trapped in a hot car animals can rapidly suffer a horrible death.

When the air temperature outside is 20 degrees Celsius, inside a car the temperature is more like 36 degrees; a 30 degree day would be 54 degrees inside the car, and a 32 degrees day would see temperatures soar to 60 degrees inside the car. Opening the windows makes little difference to the inside air temperature. The best way to prevent this from happening is to leave your animal at home, or take them out of the car, and put them in the shade with plenty of water. Carry water and bowl in the car.

Dogs tied up in the back of the ute may also suffer heat stress and burned feet on the hot metal.

Heat stress/ stroke

Any dog exposed to hot conditions without shade or water, or elderly dogs, or dogs with medical conditions such as heart disease can become heat stressed or collapse with heat stroke on hot days.

Ways to avoid heat stress and heat stroke include walking your dog during the cooler parts of the morning and evening. Ensure there is shade and multiple water points for them outside. Turn on the cooling system inside if it’s an option, provide a wet towel to lie on, use a water bottle to spray their coat and skin, direct the fan on them, and consider clipping thick hairy coats. However, in double coated dogs (eg Keeshonds, Border collies, Pomeranians, Aussie Shepherd, Samoyeds, Huskeys etc) sometimes it is considered better to de-shed the coat and just clip the under belly to allow better ventilation rather than do a full clip. This can avoid coats growing back thicker and avoid conditions such as alopecia and tufty re-growth. Our groomer, Lisa Tancredi is happy to discuss full clips versus de-shedding. But remember that avoiding heat stress is more important than potential alopecia and tufty or thicker re growth.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary treatment to safely reduce body temperature and provide supportive intra venous therapy.



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