Pets in Hot Cars: What Can You Do to Help?

Leaving pets in hot cars is not only dangerous, it is inhumane. What can we do to save a pet inside a locked hot car? 

Car Temperature 

Understand the risks 

Do your research, know your local laws, have all the facts, and be prepared. As the infographic above shows, on an 85-degree day, the inside temperature of a car can reach 104-degrees after only 10 minutes!   After 30 minutes, the temperature inside the vehicle can register at 119 degrees! Remember, by cracking the windows and parking in the shade, little to no impact is made and the temperature inside the vehicle can quickly rise to very dangerous levels. 

Know how you can respond. 

What are you legally allowed to do if you see a pet inside a hot vehicle?  First, take notes and write down the make/model and license plate number for the vehicle. If the pet has not been in the car for more than 10 minutes and there are businesses close by, ask if management can make an announcement regarding a pet left in the vehicle. If the pet has been in the car for more than 10 minutes or if the owner cannot be found, contact your local animal control or contact your local law enforcement. As of current, Georgia law does NOT have a statue regarding removal of a pet from a hot car. To avoid a ticket or worse jail time, do NOT break into a car to save a pet, let your local animal control or law enforcement handle the situation. If you would like to inquire about adding a law to allow citizens to save pets in hot vehicles without risk of civil or criminal penalty, contact your local representatives. They can be found by clicking here. Most importantly, exercise your right to vote and show up at the polls on election days. 

Educate the people around you. 

Spread the word! Use social media to share one of the many infographics, like the one above that pet or create and share your own. Tell everyone you know about the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars even for just a few minutes. The more you educate the people around you,  the more aware they will be!


Written by Julie Gajewski, CPPS. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats. You can find out more about Julie by visiting her website.

Heat Stroke in Dogs

What are the signs of heat stroke in dogs?  

Heat Stroke in Dogs

According to Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, “If left untreated, heat stroke can cause serious damage to organs and may lead to seizures, shock, collapse, coma, and death.” Dogs do not have the same cooling mechanisms humans do. They do not sweat, they pant and use a temperature exchange called convection to cool the body by exchanging the warm body temperatures for the cooler air outside. If the outside air is just as hot as the dog’s body temperature, the dog will be unable to cool itself. 

What are the signs of heat stroke in dogs?

  • Excessive panting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling
  • Bright red tongue/gums
  • Pale gums
  • Thick saliva
  • LethargyWeakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
  • Diarrhea

If left untreated, seizures, coma, cardiac arrest, and death can occur.

What should I do if my dog is suffering from heat stroke?

First, move your dog immediately from the heat. Transport your dog to your veterinarian immediately. While transporting, it is important to lower your dog’s temperature by placing cool, wet towels under the front legs in the armpit area, on the back of the neck, and in the groin area. Placing your dog in front of a fan to help move the air around him. Never submerge your pet is ice water, cooling your pet too quickly can cause life-threatening medical conditions. Monitoring your dog’s temperature rectally is very important! Once the body temperature is 103ºF, your can stop the efforts to cool your dog down. Remove wet towels, turn off fans, and dry your dog off so your dog’s body temperature does not get too low. Even if your dog is no longer panting and its temperature is normal, a trip to the veterinarian is still needed to ensure your dog is not dehydrated or is suffering from other complications. Have cool water available for your pet to drink at their leisure during the cooling process and after their body temperature is regulated.

How can heat stroke in dogs be prevented?

Provide your dog access to fresh cool water.  Never leave your pet in a hot parked car, the temperature inside a parked car can escalate to 140 degrees quickly. Make sure when outside your dog has access to shade and avoid places like the beach, areas in direct sunlight, or areas covered in concrete where heat is reflected. On hot days limit outdoor exercise. Keep your dog inside in the air conditioning. Provide frozen bottles of water under bedding and towels for your pet to lay on.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, do not hesitate. Take your pet immediately to the veterinarian.