In Poland, it’s now legal to break a car window to rescue a dog stuck inside (x)
Every summer, many owners do the same mistake. Every summer, it proves to be fatal for a lot of pets. Last week a three year old baby died in a car when her father forgot about her (x). For some reason though, people keep underestimating the risk and think if they park in the shade or leave the window cracked open, their dog (cat, baby) is all set. It is not. In scorching sun, the temperature in an unmoving vehicle climbs up very fast. 42°C is the point at which mammal tissue proteins start losing their structure.
Dogs don’t sweat except for from their paw pads and in such environment, their thermoregulation mechanisms prove inefficient. Hyperthermia (or heat stroke) ensues, followed by death of the animal. In general, birds and mammals are better equipped to deal with temperatures below the optimum than above it. In other words, they’re better at producing heat than getting rid of it.
Especially sensitive to changes of temperatures are brachycephalic breeds (with short muzzle - pugs, shih-tzus, boxers, etc.), who lack the nasal space to cool down (or similarly, heat up) the inhaled air before it reaches the lungs, and hairless breeds, who lack the undercoat that keeps the heat/cold away from their bodies and provides UV protection. Which reminds me, it’s never a bad idea to put some sun lotion on your dog’s nose on sunny days.
Rule of the thumb: never leave your pet unattended in a car.
Especially not in temperatures above 25°C (roughly about 75°F). Never in the sun. No, not even for five minutes.
If you see a living organism trapped in a car with no supervision:
- call the police
- do not wait - break the window and help it out
- provide water - lukewarm, never icy!!
- provide shade
- if possible, wiping the dog down with a wet towel is a very good option to bring down body temperature
May both you and your pets safely enjoy the summer!! :)