The Palm Beach Police Department wants to remind the community of the dangers of leaving dogs in locked cars. Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their paws. Even on seemingly mild days, an enclosed car can be deadly. When it is 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature can climb to 116 degrees. Enclosed cars heat up quickly. A dog’s average body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short period before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage, and even death. Studies show that cracking open the car's windows has little effect on a car’s internal temperature.
Signs a dog is suffering from heat-related illness include:
• Excessive panting
• Excessive drooling
• Increased heart rate
• Trouble breathing
• Collapse or loss of consciousness
• Respiratory arrest
If you see an unattended dog in a unattended car which appears to be in distress call the police, or the Palm Beach County Animal Control Agency, at 561-233-1200, or 911 immediately.