We have all done it: left our pet in the car for a few minutes to run into a store and pick something up.
A few minutes on a cool day may not be bad and many times, nothing happens. All you find when you come back is nose prints on the windows. But on hot and sunny days when the temperature is above 75 degrees, the car can warm up faster than you would think and cracking the window doesn’t help. Cracking all the windows doesn’t help.
If the outside temperature is 75 degrees in about 10 minutes the inside of a car can reach 90 degrees!
Cracking the window may let in some air, but the car is like a metal box and the sun, heat, and humidity builds up faster than you think.
Many of us do not have the harness or car seats that are available for dogs, so imagine them peeking around, looking out the windows waiting for you to return, bouncing from the front to the back seats… exerting energy and creating more heat in the car. It can be fatal. Cats should always be kept in carriers when traveling in a car since they are more agile, more likely to get underfoot, and some may be too nervous to roam freely in the car.
Dogs only perspire through their paws and pant. The air that moves through their nasal passages is not enough to release the heat that is building up in their body and around them. Your dog can experience heatstroke in a matter of minutes.
If you can leave your pet at home when you travel unless you absolutely need to bring them somewhere.
Signs of Heatstroke
- Disoriented and no longer seems to hear you or obey
If your pet exhibits any of these signs after being in the yard, out on a long walk, or (we hope you don’t do this) being in the car on a hot day, please call your vet or go to the emergency vet in your area ASAP.
Dogs and cats are part of the family. Let’s make sure they are safe and happy.
Image from SRXAWordOnHealth.com