The Danger of Pets in Hot Cars - The Trupanion Blog
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The Danger of Pets in Hot Cars

Learn more about the danger of pets left in hot cars.

During the summer season, we see temperatures elevate and spike into distressing figures. It can be an alarming time for pets during these hot months. Pets left in hot cars are seen too often, and the effects can be catastrophic. Here are some facts and prevention tips in regards to pets in hot cars.

What you need to know about pets and hot cars 

Extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures can occur within a matter of minutes in a parked car. According to, the temperature of a car parked in the sun on a hot day reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) and hit an average of 116 degrees (47 degrees Celsius) within one hour. Additionally, cars parked in the shade on a hot day reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) within the hour. The car seats we’re a staggering 105 degrees.

Plan your day

Plan your day and where you are going to go in regards to events, outings, and errands. If you want to spend some time with your furry companion and know your errands might take longer than usual, opt to leave them at home in the cooler temperatures. Additionally, many stores and shops do allow pets. Do your research and find which stores allow pet and which stores don’t. If you plan your day you could potentially shop with your pup in the morning, grab a bite at a pet-friendly cafe, and drop off the pet at home for an afternoon nap while you continue your errands.

Alternative transportation

If you have the option- opt for a different form of transportation if you would like your pets company. The option to walk, skate, bike, or take public transportation means you don’t have to leave your pet in a hot unattended car. Depending on your metropolitan area- some cities and provinces- allow for transport on bus, rail, and ferry with your pet. Your mate can enjoy your company at all times and they get to take a break from the heat.

Keep it cool

When you are indoors, indulge your pet with cool amenities. Provide a comfortable spot for them to cool down, grab some refreshing cold water, and provide ample cool temperatures via air conditioning, fans, and cooling vests. To learn more about how to keep your pets cool this summer, read this guide.

Pets do not sweat the same way that humans do and need to have the opportunity to cool themselves down.

According to on-site Trupanion DVM, Sarah Nold, “Heat stroke can occur if your dog is in a hot car. Heat stroke is an Emergency and delayed treatment can result in a worse prognosis. Kidney failure is a possible delayed complication from heat stroke. A dog that has an episode is thought to be an increased risk for future episodes.  The warning signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, and seizures. ”

By planning your day, providing alternative resources, and keeping your pet cool you can avoid the danger of your pet in a hot car.

To learn more about your dogs and heat, read An Essential Guide to Dog Beach Safety 


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