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Heat Stress In Dogs This Summer

Hot, hot, very hot, too hot, boiling hot, too hot, hot hot, seizure, hot, boiling hot, dying hot, dead.

Not a nice description but this is what happens to dogs in cars on hot days. As the days warm up it's time to remind everyone that dogs cannot stay in cars for even a few minutes. The window might be cracked down but it's not enough and it's not safe. The car might be in the shade but it's not enough and it's not safe. The windows might be tinted but it's not enough and it's not safe. On even mild days the temperature inside a car can rise to more than double the outside temperature. So on a 22 degree day it's possible for a car to heat up to 47 degrees. This is unbearable for the poor trapped dog. Elderly dogs, fat dogs, dog with heart or lung disease or those with short flat faces are at even greater risk of heat stress and in just 6 min on a hot day a dog trapped in a car can overheat and die a truly awful death due to heat stroke.

It's also important to remember that dogs can burn their foot pads on the tray of a hot ute or on hot pavement. Remember to place a cover on the tray of the ute with a suitable material that will not heat up and to avoid walking your dog on hot pavement. If you are not comfortable standing on the surface with bare feet then your dog isn't either!!

Symptoms of heat stroke include panting, drooling, and restlessness. Over time weakness sets in followed by a color change to the gums, staggering, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Eventually death results.

If your dog is suffering heat stress you need to cool them down at a steady rate, not too fast. Use cool but not iced water and a fan. Rapid cooling can make matters worse and induce seizures. Heat stroke is really serious and once you have administered these measures you need to get to a vet ASAP.

Check out the RSPCA initiative on preventing death from heat stroke: and lets all have a safe and happy summer with our pets.

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