heat kills dogs in cars 5f6220d26beef
Las Vegas Plastic Surgery

By Dr. Jeffrey Roth

As the “dog days” of summer are upon us. Now is a good time to review a well known and simple fact that heat kills pets, (especially dogs) in cars.

What happens in a car in the summer time is well documented by Eanie Ward, D.V.M.’s outstanding video, “How Hot Does it Get in a Parked Car?” that went viral. In it, he is the test subject, and gives a first person view of what does on.

In the first five minutes of his experiment, the temperature quickly gets to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the 20 minute mark of the video, Dr. Ward tells us what the dog must be thinking. “You are helpless, you have no control over what is happening,” He says. “This kills. And it’s a lousy way to die.”

In 30 minutes, the car has reached 117 degrees, and the veterinarian is not looking very good.

“It’s oppressive. That’s the best word for it,” says Dr. Ward, sweat drenching his scrubs.

Appearing bleary-eyed and sluggish, he explains that the situation is even worse for dogs, who can’t perspire except through their paws. In fact, dogs mostly cool down by panting. This is not near as effective way to cool down.

A public service ad was created by to call attention to this problem as well. It stars the well known model Elisabetta Canalis as the poor victim trapped in a hot car.

It has been argued that the “inspiration” for the above video was taken by a German public service ad. In that video, the model is not as famous. The door lock knobs (skulls) are similar as well.

The main idea is that the inside of a car can get very hot in a very short time, (minutes), even with the windows cracked. A study showed that 72 Fahrenheit on the outside, can become 116 degrees inside a car within an hour. Several studies had similar results. https://redrover.org/mydogiscool/how-hot-do-cars-get

Heat stroke/exhaustion kills many pets each year. It can happen fast. Even the most well trained dog owner can find himself in this tragic situation. An example of this is the London Police Officer who allegedly attempted suicide after he left his police dogs locked in the vehicle. They died from heat exhaustion.

If you find a pet in this situation, it is recommended to talk to the nearby shop owners. They can be very effective in locating the owner, (i.e. paging overhead), or calling animal control or police.

Sometimes we may find ourselves unexpectedly running an errands and the doggie is with us. Some options for this situation can include; Using the drive through window, or having a family member stay with the dog with the doors and windows open.

We are all busy. If you know that you are going to run errands, please consider keeping your pet at home.

Wishing you and your family, (including the doggie), a great summer.

Jeffrey J. Roth, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgery

(702) 450-0777



Comments are closed.