Animal Welfare

Hots Dogs in Parked Cars

A parked car is a death trap for your canine friend. If you have errands to run, please leave Fido at home

The weather in Playa del Carmen is always too hot to leave a dog in a parked car. Did you know your parked car will reach over 100°F within eight minutes on an 85°F day?  

Every year dogs suffer and die in parked cars. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. An open window offers very little relief from the heat. Dogs do not deal with heat in the same way humans do. They do have sweat glands on their feet, but they only release a minimum amount of sweat. They cool their body by panting and, if it is not too hot, dilating blood vessels in the face and ears cool the dog’s blood. Thick fur breeds, short-nosed breeds (pitbulls, boxers and pugs), puppies and any dog with respiratory issues or heart problems are more susceptible to heatstroke and death. That being said, no dog should be left in a parked car even for a few minutes.

Once a dog overheats the body temperature will rise to 104°F-110°F. The tongue and gums will be dark or bright red, and dry. The dog may pant excessively, stagger or be in a stupor. In some cases there will be bloody diarrhea or vomit and a rapid heart rate, and seizures may occur. The dog may go into a coma and succumb to organ failure if he does not get immediate veterinary treatment. If your dog is overheated, find a cool place and wet him with cool water, especially the neck and feet. Ensure the dog has plenty of water. Do not leave him unattended and see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you witness a dog in a parked car, report it to Centro de Bienestar Animal Municipal CEBIAM, or, after 4 p.m. to the Police or Fire Department.

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