3D printed robot dog simulates heat stroke symptoms

3rd July 2024
Paige West

Musti Group, a pet care brand in the Nordics, has launched an awareness campaign to warn dog owners against leaving their pets in hot cars.

Central to the campaign is a custom-made, 3D printed robotic dog designed to simulate the symptoms of heat stroke. This robotic dog is placed inside a car, with its movements triggered by rising temperatures.

Although Nordic summers are typically mild, dogs are susceptible to heat strokes even in lower temperatures due to their fur coats. Cars can reach dangerously high temperatures quickly, even on overcast days, making it unsafe to leave dogs unattended. Despite growing awareness, Nordic authorities still receive numerous reports each summer of dogs left in overheated cars.

Musti Group’s campaign aims to educate dog owners and passers-by about the dangers of leaving pets in cars during the summer. The realistic robotic dog demonstrates how quickly a car can become lethal for pets by showing heat stroke symptoms, such as severe lethargy, dark red tongue and gums, convulsions, and tremors.

“When it comes to recognising dangerous situations, real life experience is the best form of education. 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,” Eveliina Rantahalvari, Musti Group’s Head of Nordic Marketing says.

Rantahalvari also states that dogs have a higher risk of suffering a heat stroke, because they are not able to regulate their body temperature by sweating through the skin.

“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 and reminds that if passers-by notice a trapped dog, the animal might be in need of immediate help.

“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,” Rantahalvari says.

If a dog in a car stops panting, shows signs of restlessness, or lies still apathetically, the situation is critical. Immediate action should be taken by contacting the emergency centre for instructions if the car owner cannot be located quickly.

“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 reminds.

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