You think you’re cool? Did you know that even if it’s just 78 degrees outside, the inside of your parked car can reach 120 degrees in just minutes?! For real, yo. Many of us love to take our pets with us when we go places; with the dog beach nearby, you may be tempted to leave your pup in the car to “pop in” to the store or whatever, but don’t do it!! Spread the word: in just a few minutes a car’s interior temperature can skyrocket. This is true even if you roll down the windows a bit or park in the shade. Did you hear me?! Cars heat up way faster than you’d think – it’s just not worth the risk, is it?
So what should you do if you see someone else leaving their dog in the hot car? Say something, people! Think of the dog! Maybe their owner is a total jerk or maybe they’re just clueless – either way, the dog is suffering and could die. Call the non-emergency number for the police or call animal control. Then wait till help arrives. Write down the color, make, model, and license tag of the car. If you’re near an office building or store, have the owner paged and wait until you see some response. PETA will tell you to gather witnesses and then remove the animal from the car yourself. This gal saved a dog’s life using social media. (You’re our hero!)
The Humane Society reminds us that high humidity along with heat can also be dangerous for your pet, since, as Dr. Barry Kellogg says, "Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly." If your pet seems excessively hot, check his temperature: a dog’s should not be above 104 degrees.
Signs of heat stroke in dogs: excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, thick saliva, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lack of coordination or restlessness.
What to do? Get him to a cool environment immediately. You’ll want to gradually cool his body down, so don’t pack him in ice or give him ice water. Instead, give him cool water, submerge him in cool (but not ice) water, apply cool compresses to his belly, chest, paws, and groin. Be careful to cool him down slowly and again, don’t use ice, as you don’t want to over-cool him either.
As the weather gets even hotter this summer, remember to always provide fresh, clean water and lots of shade to your pets. Limit outdoor exercise on hot days. Carry water with you, and maybe even wrap your pet in a cooling pack such as the Cool Collar or a cooling jacket. You must be the judge of whether your pet’s getting overheated. Many crazy canines will chase that dang ball till they collapse!
Click here for a printable sign to post in your car and help spread the word to keep dogs out of hot cars! And stay cool, y’all!