NEVER EVER leave your pet in a HOT car!

2013-11-08 05:24

It is sizzling hot in South Africa. Please read the following information, rather break their little "going for a drive" hearts and think about your pets first!

I am sure that you have opened a car door and been amazed by how much hotter it is inside the car than it is outside.

The following info should be obvious but it still happens time and time again, so please read and share the info. It could save a life.

Just running inside a shop for a quick errand while your pet waits in the car can be deadly — even if the weather isn't all that hot.

Even on cooler days, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures

Even when parked in the shade on a warm day, animals (or kids or the elderly) can succumb to heat stroke or death if left in the car unattended. EVEN WITH THE WINDOWS PARTIALLY OPEN.

What you have to know too is that accidents happen! An animal lover friend's "princess" Jack Russel, loves to ride in the car. One day while groceries were being offloaded she jumped into the car and was accidentally locked in. Thankfully her absence was duly noted and she was retrieved from the car and immediately cooled down. My friend was rightfully very upset and she would want me to warn you to be extra vigilant!

The problem is that, dogs don't have sweat glands all over their bodies like humans do, they only have them in their paws. The main way they can cool off is by panting, which isn't very efficient. They can't reduce their body heat by exchanging warm air, with warm air.

Once a dog's body temperature gets over normal temperature the result is everything from nerve or brain damage, heart problems, liver damage, systemic organ failure, or heat stroke and it happens fast, within a matter of minutes.

Just as it is important to not leave your dogs in a heating car it is just as important to ensure your pets have a cool area to lay at home. It can be just as dangerous for them. You can always step out, barefoot on to some concrete at midday to gauge if its comfortable for your pets to be in direct sunlight.

If you are going to be travelling with your pets in summer or any season for that matter NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT WATER!

Signs of heat stress:

      excessive panting

      Glazed eyes

      Rapid pulse

      Dark (deep purple) or bright red tongue and gums

      Sticky or dry tongue and gums

      Unsteadiness

      Staggering

      Vomiting

      Seizures

      Bloody diarrhoea or vomiting

      Coma

DEATH

Brachycephalic breeds (the short-nosed breeds, such as Bulldogs and Pugs), large heavy-coated breeds, and those dogs with heart or respiratory problems are more at risk for heat stroke.

If your pet becomes overheated, you must lower his body temperature immediately. **remember these are tips for you to use prior or en route to your vet. Just because your animal is cooled and "appears" OK, do NOT assume everything is fine. **

  • Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold - Very cold water will cause constrictions of the blood vessels and impede cooling.) water all over your pets body to gradually lower her body temperature.

  • Apply cold towels all over the body and use a cool fan to bring down the overall body temperature.

  • Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

  • Finally, take your pet directly to a veterinarian -- it could save your pet's life.

Tips to prevent heat stress:

  • Plenty water left in a cool shady area. If the bowl or water source can be spilled, rather have more bowls of water. You could even buy a self filling bowl that will last throughout the day.

  • Shelter for pets from direct sunlight. (Remember as the day progresses, shade moves too, certain shelters may increase in temperature, so it may be necessary to have more than one shaded area or shelter)

  • If you enjoy to jog or go on outings with your pets, plan them so that they take place early in the day or late afternoon. AND always take along extra water for your pet!

INTERESTING FACTS:

Darker coloured pets

will be more affected by heat. It is just the same dark coloured cars and wearing dark coloured clothing, the dark colours absorb the heat more than light colours, which reflect the heat away.

Coat colour can make a difference when thinking about the damaging effect of the sun's UV (ultraviolet) rays.

Lighter coloured animals

are much more prone to sunburn and skin cancer than their darker coloured companions. Applying sunscreen to your pets can act as a preventative measure. This is especially important for "sunbathing" cats. Do speak to your vet before applying any lotion though. Some brands can be quite dangerous for animals.

REMEMBER!!: If you see an animal in a car exhibiting any signs of heat stress, call your local SPCA, a security guard or police department immediately!

AND

You don't just expose your pet to the dangers of heat stress when you leave him in a car, you also expose him to pet theft. Thousands of pets are stolen each year from unattended cars.

Thank you to Dr. Tanya Grantham

For adding and confirming a little info. Much appreciated! :)

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