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In Wake of Dog’s Death, Here Are Some Tips for Safeguarding Animals in Hot Weather

Posted by at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)


savehotdogs-mainThis week, a yellow Labrador retriever died of heatstroke after being left inside a truck in a mall parking lot in Holyoke, Massachusetts. A Chihuahua corgi mix had a close call in the same parking lot and almost died of heatstroke as well. In light of these incidents, we thought we’d give you some information on keeping animals safe in hot weather.

PETA receives reports every year about animals who suffer horrifying deaths during the spring and summer months. During warm weather, even dogs who are left in the shade can quickly succumb to heatstroke and suffer brain damage as a result. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90 degrees, while the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees in just minutes. If you see a dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke-including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite or coordination-get the animal into the shade immediately. You can lower a symptomatic dog’s body temperature by providing the dog with water, by applying a cold towel to the dog’s head and chest, or by immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.

PETA Prime makes the following suggestions for safeguarding animals:

  • Keep dogs inside: Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress and be physically damaging or fatal.
  • Water and shade: If animals must be left outside, they should be supplied with ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun while you’re at work can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Walk, don’t run: In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
  • Avoid parked cars: Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. Dogs trapped inside parked cars can succumb to heatstroke within minutes-even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight.
  • Pickups: Never transport animals in the bed of a pickup truck. This practice is dangerous-and illegal in many cities and states-because animals can catapult out of the truck bed on a sudden stop or choke if they jump out while they’re tied up.
  • Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all outdoor animals. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you see an animal in distress, contact humane authorities right away and give them immediate relief by providing water.

PETA is right now building doghouses with special extended roofs for shading for dogs who are in desperate need of shelter in these record-high temperatures. You can help this lifesaving work by making a contribution to our project today. Your donation will bring the shelter of a sturdy, weatherproof doghouse to a lonely, neglected dog this summer.

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8 Comments

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    Christine says...

    August 8th, 2010, 1:20 pm

    I live in the hot desert of Arizona. The most heartbreaking thing that I see everyday is dogs chained in sweltering backyards. They live with no love or companionship. 2 weeks ago a rescuer brought in a beautiful dog, whose one side was very severely burned. He was trapped on a short chain and couldn’t move. All his fur came off. They were busy helping him, including pain meds. This precious fellow was wagging his tail and licking his caregivers. So sad to see the suffering.

    Merilyn Phillips says...

    August 9th, 2010, 12:59 am

    Yesterday as I was in Petsmart to see if the animals had clean water and food, a girl ran into the store screaming for a vet. Said her dog was turning purple! I ran outside and discovered she’d left her large white pitbull in her car, 95 degrees outside, so only God knows what the temp was inside the car! To make matters worse, she discovered her keys were left in the car and a locksmith had come to open her door!! I told her, screaming, just what I thought of her, along with a host of others!! The dog was doused with water by a vets assist and taken into the clinic. I waited to see if it survived but had to leave. I pray it did and that it was taken from that careless, thoughtless girl! Was I shocked when I called 911 and was told it was not against the law to leave your dog in a hot car!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?????!!!! I called PETA and was informed it is indeed against the law in Fla. What the hell is wrong with people??!!

    Cassandra says...

    August 9th, 2010, 12:20 pm

    This isn’t the first or last time we hear of situations such as these. Is it not under consideration yet that perhaps leaving animals unattended in vehicles should be illegal? Lots of lives, particularly dogs’, could be saved.

    Amanda J Johnston says...

    August 9th, 2010, 12:59 pm

    I like this story very much and it is very helpful. I even lie to places that I “have to” visit whilst My Dog is in the car, so that She can be brought in to the place of business. I don’t like it that I have to lie, My Dog is extremely well behaved and well trained, and I think She should be allowed anywhere that Guide Dogs are!

    I don’t like how others leave their Dogs outside of shops to wait for Them while a quick purchase is being made. I have seen many Animals fret for Their Masters with this method of “including The Dog in the things I do”.

    I find also that when travelling, My car doesn’t have air conditioning, and We sit on wet towels or put towels on Our bodies, always spraying water, and I offer My Dog a drink at every stop of the car.

    However, I worry more about the poor sheep and cattle that are transported in worse conditions, it is totally inhumane. They are shoved in to trucks and those trucks don’t stop running even if it hits 45°C,here in South Australia. I hate that. The stench of it reeks for half a km after the truck has passed, surely something has to be done about this! As I am not a meat eater – I wonder why it has to be done at all :’[

    suzanne says...

    August 9th, 2010, 2:23 pm

    I live in myrtle beach, s. carolina, n we have had a very hot year soo far, I c this all the time down here. this young lady left 3 dogs in her car for over 30 mins. w/ the windows open about 6 inches all 4 n the sun roof . the 3 dogs where not happy , I have a 15 yr old sm breed ,she goes everywhere w/ me ,but if it’s too hot or cold , n i’m going any where she can’t go IN w/ me, she’s at home where she’s comfortable , most of all safe from any chances of something like this happening , i couldn’t ever forgive MYSELF if my own stupidity, would have that happen to may best friend “PEANUT” in the whole wide world !!!! I just hope other people will b more awhere of that this dose happen everwhere…. , n keep your pets n others safe.. god bless us all!!!

    Ellen Lee says...

    August 9th, 2010, 2:37 pm

    I leave my dogs in the car with the car running and the air-conditioning on! I just make sure I park in a parking lot that I feel safe about, or if I am only making a short trip into a store. They just settle down for a cool nap while I am gone. I NEVER leave them in a hot car. If I can bring them into a store with me (and there are several that welcome dogs), I do. They get a lot of loving and attention from other shoppers, and they enjoy the socializing very much. Be safe, always!

    regina ripley says...

    August 9th, 2010, 8:28 pm

    I always make sure the birdbaths are filled with water and make huge puddles in our driveway with my hose for birds and chipmunks on hot summer days!!!!!

    Melody Jacobsohn says...

    August 10th, 2010, 5:21 am

    Please look after your animals.xoxo

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