Every summer animal agencies are inundated with calls from concerned citizens alerting us to dogs that have been left or locked in hot cars. It can take less than six minutes for a dog to suffer extreme heat exhaustion and die. It is imperative, that if you are leaving your dog in a car to make sure that that they have adequate shade, shelter and water. Even then, temperatures whilst in the shade can reach high levels that can still be extremely hazardous for your dog. The main problem for dogs is that they cool themselves by panting. If the air around them is too hot, and they don’t have access to water, dogs are physically unable to regulate their body temperature.
So what should you do if you are traveling with your dog in hot weather? Here, Don’t cook your dog gives a list of what you should always do when traveling with your dog in the car. First and foremost, think if it is really necessary to have your dog traveling with you in the car in the first place. If it is really hot and you don’t have air-conditioning in your car, then it is best to leave them at home or make alternative arrangements whilst you are traveling.
It is imperative that your dog has plenty of space and is sitting in the shade, if in direct sunlight then your dog will still be prone to overheating regardless if you have air conditioning or not. Finally, they must have access to cool water. Lastly be aware of common signs that your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion that include; panting, disorientation, excessive thirst, dark gums, vomiting, diarrhea and losing consciousness.
If your dog has begun to show signs that they are suffering from overheating, it is vital that you act quickly as to avoid any disastrous consequences. Immediately move them out of the sun and try and wrap them in cool, damp towels to bring their body temperature down, paying special attention to the head. Offer the dog cool water so they can take a small drink easily and if possible, try and cool their tongue with a damp cloth.
Finally call a vet immediately. Following these measures, then there is no reason that your dog should every be in a situation where they are suffering from heat exhaustion. Just ensure that you consider the necessary precautions and if it is really essential that your dog travels with you.