The Musti Group, the leading pet care brand in the Nordics, has launched a campaign to warn dog owners about the dangers of leaving their pets alone in hot cars – with the help of a robot dog.

The campaign features a custom-made robot dog that simulates the symptoms of heat stroke, demonstrating the rapid onset of danger when temperatures rise.

The robotic dog is designed to move in response to temperature changes inside a car, simulating heat stroke symptoms. This initiative aims to educate both dog owners and passers-by on the severe risks of leaving dogs in vehicles during the summer, even on cloudy days.

Nordic summers might not always be particularly hot, but dogs, with their fur coats, are prone to heat strokes even in milder temperatures. Despite increasing awareness, authorities in the Nordic countries still receive numerous reports of dogs left in hot cars every summer.

Increasing Awareness and Action

Musti Group’s campaign seeks to provide a tangible, cautionary example that people can witness firsthand. Eveliina Rantahalvari, Musti Group’s Head of Nordic Marketing, emphasises the importance of real-life experience in recognising dangerous situations. “By creating a tangible, cautionary example that people witness with their own eyes, we hope to increase awareness of how and when to act in these situations both as a dog owner and a passer-by,” Rantahalvari explains.

She also highlights that dogs cannot regulate their body temperature by sweating through their skin, making them more susceptible to heat stroke. “The temperature inside the car rises dangerously high faster than many people realise. Even leaving the car’s windows open is not enough to ensure the dog is not at risk,” Rantahalvari says.

Steps to Take If You See a Dog in a Hot Car

Rantahalvari advises that if passers-by notice a trapped dog, immediate action may be required. “If you notice a dog left in a hot car, the first thing you should do is try to get in contact with the owner. For example, in a store or shopping centre, you can ask the staff to make an announcement to try and alert the owner,” she suggests.

Recognising Heat Stroke Symptoms

The symptoms of a dog’s heat stroke include severe lethargy, dark redness of the tongue and oral mucosa, convulsions, and tremors. If a dog is no longer panting or showing signs of restlessness and instead lies still apathetically, the situation is very serious. If the owner of the car cannot be found quickly, the helper must contact the emergency centre for instructions to assist the dog.

Preventing Overheating Outside the Car

“During summer, overheating is also a threat outside the car. It can be prevented by giving the dog enough water, staying in the shade, swimming and, for example, with ice cream made for dogs,” Rantahalvari advises.

The Musti Group’s campaign underscores the importance of vigilance and immediate action to protect pets from the dangers of heat stroke during the warmer months. By educating the public through this innovative approach, they aim to reduce the number of heat stroke incidents and ensure the safety of pets.