Danger! Danger! Hot Cars in Season!

shutterstock_72500395Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, we’re starting to see hot weather on the rise throughout most of the country, and it’s time for my annual (if not more often) warning about leaving dogs in hot cars.

Everyone always thinks they’re only going to be in the store “for a minute”, but it happens every year. Someone gets delayed at the checkout counter or runs into an old friend and stops to chat. Meanwhile, back in the car, the dog is dying of heat exhaustion.

Even when we consider it a pleasant day, the heat can be deadly in a very short time inside your car. On a 70 degree day, your car interior can heat to 104 degrees in just 30 minutes. At 80 degrees, the car gets to 109 in 20 minutes, and at 90 degrees, the car can get to 109 i just 10 minutes. Even if you park in the shade or leave the windows cracked, the air isn’t circulating inside the car, and it can be dangerous for your dog.

A dog’s normal temperature is about 101. Above 103, they start to feel ill, and at 106, they go into organ failure.

You might suspect your dog is being stressed by the heat if you see the following symptoms:
Heavy panting
Glazed eyes
Rapid pulse
Unsteadiness
Vomiting
Deep red or purple tongue

Every minute counts! You need to cool the dog immediately with ice packs, rubbing alcohol, or even water from a hose, and get to the vet as quickly as possible so they can supply IV fluids and steroids to counteract shock.

Please, please, please, leave your dog at home if you’re out running errands. The only time your dog should go in the car with you is if you’re going somewhere you can take him or her inside with you.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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