Monday, February 8, 2016

Leaving dogs in cars can be lethal

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A locked car can get as hot as a sauna. Unfortunately for dogs, being inside a locked car—even with the windows opened just a bit—can be fatal.

I have read various reports about how hot the inside of a locked car can get with the windows opened just a crack. To check the accuracy, I took a thermometer from my house and placed it inside my car. The outside temperature read 93 degrees F. I sat inside my car with the windows opened about a half an inch. Within 10 minutes, the temperature hit 104. At that point the sweat was pouring down my face.

For those of us who think, “We’re just going to run into the store for a few quick minutes and we’ll be right out,” I’m sorry, but it is easy to get distracted and extend our short trip inside the store.

This got me thinking that I should see how hot it would get if I left the thermometer in my car for one hour. I checked back 60 minutes later. This time the thermometer read 138 degrees F.

Hot temperatures can be fatal to your pets and children. I mention children because I have seen them left unattended inside cars outside of shopping malls. The problem is that there is often no shade at most mall parking lots and temperatures rise quickly.

So, please—for the health of your pets and children—never leave them inside a locked car, even with the windows opened. If you do see a pet inside a car on a hot day, call the local animal control officer.

To find out how to protect your pets from summer health threats, click here. You can also read tips from Best Friends Animal Society on caring for your pets on hot summer days.

Michele C. Hollow writes the animal advocacy blog Pet News and Views. She also writes investigative animal stories for Who What Why. She is the author ofThe Everything Guide to Working with Animals. You can connect with her on Twitter.

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Michele C. Hollow
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