People love to take their dogs with them when they go places. Whether running to the store, stopping for errands, or hitting the summer events, they often have their dog tag along. But summer temperatures can be deadly for dogs left in cars, even for just a few minutes. The good news is that you can do things to help protect your pet and other dogs that may be left in vehicles.
“Every summer, the news reports stories of dogs being left in hot cars, only to suffer and at times die,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Guardians of Rescue. “We have to do better than that, and it starts with knowing and understanding the dangers involved in leaving dogs in hot cars.”
While it may seem that leaving the dog in the car only for 10 minutes won’t hurt, that isn’t the case. Even with windows cracked, within 10 minutes, a vehicle can heat up to 100 degrees on an 80-degree day. A dog left in a hot car can have heat stroke within 15 minutes, posing a dangerous and deadly situation, even if the windows are cracked open.
Beyond heat issues, pets being stolen are another concern when they are left in vehicles. Reports are on the rise of unattended animals being stolen from unlocked vehicles. Purebred dogs are then quickly sold, making dog theft a lucrative business.
Here are some tips for keeping pets safer this summer:
- When possible, choose to leave the pet at home. A dog left at home will be in a safer position than one left in a car, even while someone runs to pick something up quickly on an errand. Those who will be gone for long or overnight should hire a pet sitter to check in on them.
- Some cars, such as a Tesla, offer a “Dog Mode” feature that allows the air conditioning to stay on while the person runs into the business. In such cases, those outside the vehicle should see a display indicating that the owner will be back soon, and it shows the internal temperature at the moment.
- People may want to break the window to rescue the pet when suspecting a dog is in danger in a hot car. Before doing so, it is crucial to call authorities for help and to report the situation, believe the dog is suffering, and use no more force than is necessary to rescue the pet.
- If a dog is spotted being left in a car, ask the business to page the person who owns the vehicle and ask that they go to their car. If the person does not respond, call the non-emergency number for the local police department.
- While the advice varies, most pet professionals recommend not leaving a pet in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked, once the temperatures hit the mid-60s. The warmer it is outside, the hotter it will become inside the car. If it’s 78 outside, for example, the temperature inside the vehicle can quickly reach 150 in under 30 minutes.
- Know the warning signs of a pet suffering from heatstroke, which include a rapid pulse, heavy panting, profuse salivation, red gums and tongue, and a lack of coordination. If a dog has these symptoms, they need immediate veterinary care.
“We can all do something to help keep pets safer this summer from the heat,” added Misseri. “They can’t exit the vehicle alone, so we must do our part.”
Guardians of Rescue provides various services to help save animals, reunite people and pets, investigate animal cruelty cases, and offer disaster response assistance, such as in the aftermath of hurricanes. Guardians of Rescue helps military members to be reunited with their rescued pets with the aid of animal lovers everywhere. Their work has impacted people and animals around the world. They can only continue their work through the generosity of those who donate to support the cause. To get more information or make a donation, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.