For many of us, efficiency is an important consideration in our lives. It drives us to make decisions at work, at home, and while on the go. This is also probably why many dogs are seen left in cars while their owner pops out to get something. It’s just too much hassle to take your dog out with you, right?
If you weren’t already aware, the dangers of leaving your dog in the car can be life-threatening. In a hot country like Singapore, just a few minutes in that tiny, enclosed space will send trickles of sweat down your back. The situation is worse for dogs, who are unable to sweat and thus have a harder time adjusting to increasing temperatures. If left for too long, your dog can succumb to heatstroke and have an anxiety attack.
Normally, a canine’s body temperature ranges between 38 to 39 degrees celcius. When left in a car, a dog’s body starts to heat up, and they begin to pant. However, panting is not the most effective means of cooling down, and their bodies are unable to do so quick enough. If no one intervenes before their body reaches 41 to 42 degrees celcius, they will most likely die.
This process can happen in less than 10 minutes on a hot 32-degree day – not an uncommon temperature in Singapore. Some of the common symptoms of heatstroke include: - Excessive panting - High body temperature - Vomiting - Dizziness - Darkened tongue and gums - Collapsing
Even if your dog is more tolerant of heat, being trapped in a car all alone in a strange place can be a stressful experience. If your dog starts to panic, it can be a traumatic experience that would make matters worse. A panic-stricken, ill dog is not what you want to come back to after a quick drop by the store. If you’re thinking that all this can be avoided by leaving a crack in the car windows, you’re wrong.
It has been found that leaving your windows partially open does not actually make any difference to the rate of temperature increase in a car. If you happen to see a dog trapped in a car, try to locate the owner as soon as possible. If the owner cannot be found, call SPCA at 62875355 and take down the car model, colour, license plate number, and remember to take a picture or video of the dog. Your help could save its life.