Picture this – it’s a sunny day on our lovely island, and you decided to take your furry companion out for a drive. He deserves it and just loves to stick his head out of the window and taste the wind…
But before you head out to Ta’ Qali, you stop at the local grocery shop for some body fuel along the way… No dogs are allowed in the store so you leave little Milo in the car with the windows “creaked” for just a few minutes… Grab some snacks, a cold drink, and you are good to go!
However, a new offer on the aisle grabs your attention, your chatty neighbour just couldn’t stop talking to you either, and the queues were long. A 5-minute errand turned into a 20-minute-errand. He should still be okay though, no?
On a 29 °C day, the temperature inside a car can rise approximately to 48°C in just 30 minutes! Unlike humans, dogs do not have the ability to sweat. To control heat, they rely primarily on their respiratory tract.
Greyhounds, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers have larger nasal surfaces and are better at dispersing heat, but “smush-faced” breeds (such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus) have smaller nasal passages and are more prone to overheating.
Panting becomes substantially more necessary for cooling when the ambient temperature rises and approaches core body temperature. However, as the ambient humidity rises drastically, panting becomes ineffective, making it more difficult for dogs to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
So, what do you have to do when you see a dog in a car?
Take down the car’s model and license plate number. If there are managers or security guards around, notify them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner.
If the owner cannot be found, call the local police (2122 4001) or animal control (17171) and wait by the car for them to arrive.
A lot of people are unaware of the dangers of leaving your pet in hot cars. Therefore, it can easily be a mistake. That is why it is always good to report these types of cases.
If it was a genuine mistake, the owner will thank you for saving the poor dog’s life. If it was intentional, you still managed to save the poor dog’s life. It is a win-win situation!