The Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu demonstrates the increasing discomfort and danger that dogs endure when they’re locked inside a car on a hot summer day.
After mere minutes in the Arizona heat, he starts to breathe heavily and sweat excessively (something that dogs aren’t physically able to do). Even on a mild 70-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 99 degrees in 20 minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in just 10 minutes.
Dogs are unable to protect themselves from the heat and can sustain brain damage and even die after only 15 minutes. Signs of heatstroke—which can occur quickly—include restlessness, heavy panting, lethargy, a darkened tongue, a rapid heart rate, fever, vomiting, glazed eyes, and dizziness.
When Tyrann began feeling dizzy, he was able to open the door and escape the suffocating heat—but dogs don’t have that luxury. They frantically claw and bite at the car door in an attempt to get out, usually in vain.
Tyrann and the rest of us have the benefit of being able to sweat through our skin, which helps us cool down. But dogs are covered with fur and can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Be prepared so that if you see a dog locked inside a hot car, you’ll be able to help.
Want to do more for dogs? Spread the word by sharing Tyrann’s video.