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Keep Pets Out of Hot Cars

Pet Care Queensland Law Pet Health RSPCA Inspectors
We have mentioned it far more than once, so here is another reminder. Never leave your pets unattended in a car or on the back of a ute! Six minutes is all it takes for a dog to overheat in a hot car and you could lose your best friend forever.

I’m sure you all know the feeling of getting in the car on a hot Summer’s day and burning your hands on the steering wheel and the seat belt… OUCH! Well imagine how your dog might feel being trapped in there while you quickly pop into the air conditioned shops…

If you find an animal in a hot car there are steps you can take that could potentially save a life, find out what you should do here

The Facts
  • In just one week, the RSPCA received 28 calls about animals being left in hot cars. That is 28 too many!
  • Cars can reach up to 73 degrees Celsius on a hot summer’s day
  • Pets can still overheat even when the windows are down or the car is parked in a shaded area
  • Ute trays can burn your pet’s footpads or bodies (NOTE: Unlike humans, your pets can’t escape from the heat when they get too hot, especially when they are tied to the back of a ute)
Dogs Die in Hot Cars!

Dogs don’t sweat. Instead, they cool themselves down through panting (evaporative cooling from the lungs and mouth), lying on cool surfaces and drinking cool water. With the combination of the extremely hot and humid weather in Queensland at the moment and cars that are made from metal and glass (both are extremely good at retaining heat), dogs that are left in hot cars are put in a life threatening situation. Panting is not a sufficient cooling method in these extreme weather conditions and there are no cool surfaces for them to cool off on. 


Carpark Signage

If you want these RSPCA signs above installed in your shopping complex or carpark please email marketing@rspcaqld.org.au.

See The Signs! Symptoms of Heat Stress

Did you know that some dogs may suffer more than others in the heat? For example, dog breeds with short faces (i.e. Pugs and Bulldogs) suffer even more because they find it harder to breathe. Before you realise the impact the heat has had on your dog, it’s often too late. Dogs die in hot cars. So don’t risk it and consider leaving your furry friends at home if you have to pop out to the shops. 

Dogs may pant, drool and become restless. Over time, they may become weak, the colour of their gums may start to change, they may start to stagger and experience vomiting, diarrhoea or seizures. If you see your pet exhibiting these symptoms, call the vet immediately, however, do not transport your pet when they are still hot. For emergency treatment at home, immediately remove your pet from the heat and make sure you bring their body temperature down at a steady rate by spraying cool water on their armpits, foot pads and groin (don’t use ice-cold water as this may cool them down too rapidly).

Dogs may pant, drool and become restless. Over time, they may become weak, the colour of their gums may start to change, they may start to stagger and experience vomiting, diarrhoea or seizures. If you see your pet exhibiting these symptoms, call the vet immediately, however, do not transport your pet when they are still hot. For emergency treatment at home, immediately remove your pet from the heat and make sure you bring their body temperature down at a steady rate by spraying cool water on their armpits, foot pads and groin (don’t use ice-cold water as this may cool them down too rapidly).

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Cool
  • Don’t leave your dog sitting in a parked vehicle!
  • If you have to leave your pet for a short moment, make sure they are secured in a safe place outside the vehicle with access to water and shade
  • Consider leaving your furry friends at home with sufficient shade and multiple water sources (remember the sun moves throughout the day, so ensure they have access to a shaded area at all times)
  • Put some ice cubes into their water to keep it nice and cool
  • Give them some Cooling Dog Delights to keep them cool, happy and occupied when you leave the house
  • Set up a doggy paddle pool at home for your pet to splash around in

Find out how to keep your dogs, cats and livestock cool this Summer

Take the Pledge to Never Leave Your Dog Unattended
Do the right thing and what’s best for your pet! See what you can do to help by visiting Just Six Minutes and take the pledge to never leave your dog in a hot car!

What should you do if you find a pet in a hot car? 

Ruby Stewart
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