Hot Cars = Hot Dogs

Pet Care Queensland Law Pet Health RSPCA Inspectors Posted Jan 16, 2023
Never leave your pets unattended in a car or on the back of a ute! Learn the dangers…

Six minutes is all it takes for a dog to overheat in a hot car and you could lose your best friend forever.

Summer is here and we all know just how hot and stifling it is to sit in a car that’s been left in the heat all day. Belt buckles burning your skin, hot leather seats, or steering wheel handle, you know the feeling… ouch!

Imagine how your dog might feel being left inside your car while you quickly pop into the air-conditioned shops? Dogs Die in Hot Cars Fact Sheet

What do you do if you find an animal in a hot car? There are steps you can take that could potentially save a life here

The Facts
  • 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
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. 

This January our Inspector rescued two dogs from a car at a Gold Coast theme park. They were lucky to survive being left for hours in the car. Please note, some viewers may find the following footage distressing:

Our Inspectors are frequently called out to rescue dogs left in cars. Inspector Ben Newman says, “These dogs were very lucky to survive. The car was like an oven. If not found in time, they wouldn’t be alive.” While this rescue was underway, Police also received a report of a dog left in a car at Sea World. 

Please leave your pets at home when heading to theme parks and shopping centres. 

 Leaving an animal without appropriate water and shelter may constitute as an offence under the Animal Care and Protection Act (2001).

Travelling Safe, Secure Your Mate
Never leave your pet tied up

Dogs don’t need to be locked in cages to die from heat stress. 20 minutes on a tether in the sun means pets work themselves into a panicked frenzy and very quickly overheat beyond return. Read more about tethering cases we’ve seen here

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Cool
  • Do they have access to ample shade and multiple water sources all day? 
  • Put some ice cubes into their water to keep it nice and cool
  • Make some cool DIY doggy treats for them to enjoy 
  • Set up a doggy paddle pool at home for your pet to splash around in
  • Keep small pet enclosures and fish tanks out of the direct sun
  • Keep your livestock, horses and hens cool too! More here

Learn more cool tips here

Emma Lagoon
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