A Hot-Weather Warning for Dogs

Posted by on July 16, 2014 | Permalink

Life-saving tips for dogs in hot weather this summer Every summer, dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car – even for “just a minute” – while they run an errand.

Parked cars are death traps for dogs in warm weather. Unlike humans, dogs can cool themselves only by panting and sweating through their paw pads, and they can die if their body temperature exceeds 41 degrees. They can develop a loss of muscle control, their kidneys can cease to function, their brain can become irreversibly damaged and their heart can stop. This is a terrifying and painful way to die.

On a 26-degree day, the inside of a vehicle parked in the sun can reach 70 degrees in just minutes. Cars parked in the shade aren’t safe for dogs, either, and can quickly become unbearably warm for dogs left inside.

We’re asking for your help this summer in raising awareness of this danger by printing out our hot-weather warning poster and putting it up in your local area – for example, in libraries, in supermarkets and on community notice boards (with permission, of course!).

Download the poster here, and feel free to tweet us a picture of the posters on display.

Here are some more tips for keeping your canine companions safe this summer:

  • Keep animals inside. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress and be physically damaging or fatal.
  • Provide water and shade. If animals must be left outside, they should be given ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Walk, don’t run. Never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog when the weather is hot and humid. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
  • Stay alert and save a life. If you see an animal in distress, immediately provide water and shelter and contact authorities right away.

These tips may seem like common sense to most people, but every year, we hear tragic stories of dogs whose guardians didn’t take these basic precautions, with fatal consequences.

So please, share this information widely – it could save a life!


Photo: “Sunday Walk” by Martin Pettitt / CC BY 2.0