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Dangers of Leaving Dogs in Hot Cars

Urgent Alert: Dangers of Leaving Pets in Cars During Hot Australian Summer

As an advocate for animal welfare in Australia, Pet Insurance Australia is issuing a vital warning about the life-threatening dangers associated with leaving dogs in parked cars. Pet Insurance Australia advises all pet parents to take extreme caution and never leave a pet in a parked car under any circumstances.

As temperatures soar across Australia, Pet Insurance Australia underscores the critical need for pet owners to be aware of the severe consequences of leaving their dogs in parked cars during the warmer months.

"Sadly, in some cases, the message is simply not getting through on the dangers of leaving your pets in cars, even if you crack the window," Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says.
"Many pets succumb to the devastating effects of being left in a hot car, even for a quick dash into the supermarket."
A Standford University study showcased how hot a vehicle can reach even in cooler conditions, noting that if it's 22 degrees outside, the temperature inside your car can rise to a staggering 47.2 degrees within 60 minutes. With 80% of the temperature rise occurring within the first half-hour.

"The fact is the interior of a parked car can become an oven, escalating temperatures rapidly. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a vehicle can surge to dangerous levels," says Crighton. "Pets are unable to regulate their body temperatures under hot conditions, so even in a matter of minutes, they can become distressed and show symptoms of heatstroke."

Heatstroke is not only dangerous for your pet, but it can also affect your savings, with the average claimed amount for heatstroke-related conditions in 2023 reaching $1,707 and a whopping $15,000 being the highest claim benefit paid to a PIA policyholder for a heatstroke condition in the last two years.

Pet Insurance Australia has seen a tenfold increase in the number of heatstroke-related claims by PIA Policyholders as soon as the hot weather started in November 2023 compared to the winter months,” Crighton says. “This summer, we are urging all pet owners that if they cannot take their pets into the shop, please leave them at home where they are safe.”

The fact is the interior of a parked car can become an oven, escalating temperatures rapidly. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a vehicle can surge to dangerous levels at incredible speeds. Most importantly, studies have shown that cracking a window had no effect on cooling the vehicle.

"Pet Insurance Australia encourages all Australians to take immediate action if they witness a dog left unattended in a car, regardless of the duration," Crighton says. "Quick intervention can be the difference between life and death for a distressed animal."

Steps to Take if a Dog is in Distress:

✔️ Assess the Situation: Look for signs of distress such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, or unresponsiveness.

✔️ Note Vehicle Details: Record the make, model, colour, and license plate number.

✔️ Contact Authorities: Immediately call local law enforcement or animal control, providing them with detailed information.

✔️ Stay with the Dog: If authorities are delayed, attempt to find the owner or gather witnesses to the incident.

In line with its commitment to animal welfare, Pet Insurance Australia encourages Australians to spread the word about the dangers of leaving pets in cars.

"It is vital we raise awareness about the risks of leaving pets in cars and encourage responsible pet ownership during the hot Australian summer," Crighton says. "Leaving a pet in a car is not acceptable in any circumstances; if you cannot take your pet with you, it's best to leave them in the safety of their own home and out of the car."

"Leaving dogs in parked cars is a perilous decision that pet owners in Australia must avoid, especially given our harsh summer conditions," she says. "Our mission is to educate the public about the risks and promote responsible pet care in our unique climate."


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