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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Every summer dogs die from heat stroke. The danger of leaving the dog in the car in hot weather is often underestimated. Here you can read if you can leave your dog in the car and what to do if he is already in danger of dying.

Car as sauna

These values are only guidelines! Dark and small cars usually heat up faster than large, light cars.

Caution: Leaving a gap open in the window panes has hardly any effect on the heat development, as there is no sufficient air circulation. Likewise, a shady parking space cannot prevent the heating-up, at most it can slow it down a little. But the sun often moves fast and so the car is standing in the blazing sun within a very short time!

How do I recognize a dog in mortal danger?

Since dogs can hardly sweat and regulate their temperature mainly by panting, heat stroke can quickly occur in hot weather.

The most important signs are:

  1. strong panting, red tongue, pale mucous membranes
  2. vomiting, balance disorders, cramps
  3. disturbances of consciousness (unresponsive, hardly reacts at all), unconsciousness

What to do when you see a dog in a car in hot weather?

  • Look out for the holders (call out license plates in supermarket parking lots)
  • If the dog still looks fit, you can wait a few minutes to see if the owners come. Please always keep an eye on him!
  • If he starts showing signs of heat stroke call the police.
  • Take pictures to have evidence for later.
  • Check if the car doors are locked and ask passengers to act as witnesses.
  • If the condition of the dog deteriorates dramatically, as a last resort, break the window in case of emergency. Here you are in criminal law (see legal below). Please pay attention to your safety! Attention: A dog in a state of shock can snap unconsciously.
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First aid measures

  • Take the dog to a shady or cooler place as soon as possible! Attention: Do not cool the overheated animal too quickly and do not put a cloth over it. You can start by slowly lowering the temperature with cool water, starting with the paws.
  • If the animal is conscious, give it water (room temperature) to drink (not too much at once) or carefully wet its tongue. Never instill with force!
  • Make sure there is sufficient air circulation. Fan air at him.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Wait for the arrival of the animal rescue service or take him to the nearest vet as soon as possible.

Legal information

Smashing the windows is damage to property and can be reported to the police!

Example Germany: § 34 Justifying state of emergency of the penal code

Example Austria: § 10 Excusable state of emergency of the Criminal Code

In any case, it is important to be able to prove in retrospect that it was an emergency. Therefore it is important to document everything (time, place, license plates, photos, etc.) and, if possible, to note down the data of witnesses who would be willing to testify in case of a court case.

According to the Animal Welfare Act, an animal must be given first general assistance. This would be, for example, notifying the police.

Fenster offen im Auto für Hund


A dog in a hot car is quickly in danger of his life, because the car can quickly become an oven. Make sure never to lock up your darling even for a short time! If you see a dog in a car, watch out for signs of heat stroke and observe the measures.