The heat inside a car can reach hazardous levels on a Mornington Peninsula summer’s day. The RSPCA says it takes just six minutes or less for a dog to suffer severe heat exhaustion and die in a vehicle because they can’t regulate their body temperature.
Leaving the windows down or parking your car in the shade makes little difference when the air surrounding a dog is hot and there is no access to water. Dogs don’t sweat other than minimally from their paw pads, and while they pant in an effort to exchange warm air for cool, if the air temperature is close to their own body temperature this technique isn’t very effective. This is when heatstroke can occur, and symptoms include increased heart rate and salivation, excessive panting, red tongue, red or pale gums, thick sticky saliva, weakness, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhoea. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, get them to a vet quickly.
Experts advise it’s always better to leave your dog at home where there’s plenty of water and shade during extreme heat episodes.
This summer, think smart – think heat, cars and dogs don’t mix.