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Keep Pets Out of Hot Cars

Pet Care Queensland Law Pet Health RSPCA Inspectors Posted Dec 20, 2021
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.

Summer is well and truly here. 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
  • In 2021, since the beginning of November our Inspectors have received 116 calls reporting heat stress and so far this year we've had 105 calls about animals being left in hot cars
  • 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 [email protected].


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

If you’re planning a getaway this festive break, consider these simple points: 

  • Have you booked a pet sitterVisit PetCloud to find a reputable pet sitter in your area.
  • Have you registered with RSPCA Home Alone? You can provide emergency contact’s details should your pet be found or a welfare concern is reported to us. 
  • Does your pet have access to fresh water and ample shade while you are away? 
  • Does your dog have the freedom to roam in a secure yard, not left tied up?
  • Do you have an option when travelling with your pet so they aren’t left in a hot car or on the back of a ute?
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? 

Travelling Safe, Secure Your Mate

Keep your pet safe when travelling this festive season, learn about appropriate ways to keep your best mate safe and secure this year here.

RSPCA QLD
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