Don’t let your dog overheat in your car

Published

With soaring temperatures reaching all areas of the Territory at the moment, the Department of Primary Industry and Resources is urging pet owners not to leave their beloved pet dogs in vehicles.

Pet owners need to be mindful of the risk they expose their dogs to, namely potentially fatal heat stroke.

Animal Welfare Director Peter Phillips said dogs should never be left in a parked cars, especially in these hot conditions.

“It only takes six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car,” he said.

“Dogs that are restrained in the back of a ute also need proper shade and access to water.

“Locking dogs in cars, or leaving dogs in direct sunlight and failing to provide appropriate shade and water can lead to heat stroke and constitutes animal cruelty.

“Temperatures in a car can rise to dangerous levels and can rapidly reach more than double the outside temperature.

“Tinting, parking in the shade or leaving the windows open do not help to reduce the inside temperature significantly.

“A quick rise in temperature in a dog can cause dehydration and blood thickening, leading to brain damage, vital organ failure and even death. It takes less than 10 minutes for dogs to be affected by heat stroke.”

Signs of heat stroke in dogs include quick and frequent panting, distressed and agitated behaviour, weakness and muscle tremors, and disorientation or sudden collapse.

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, move it to a cooler area, offer cool (not cold) water, gently wet the coat using a hose or place a wet towel over the dog in the path of a fan, and seek prompt veterinary care.

Heavy penalties can apply under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 if pets are harmed when left in vehicles or without adequate shade or water.

For more information on how to be a responsible pet owner, visit NT.GOV.AU/animalwelfare

If you are concerned about an animal’s welfare or suspect or witness animal cruelty, report it to Animal Welfare on 1300 720 386.

Dog in car

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