Pets and Hot Cars Do Not Mix

by Joe Ferguson on July 10, 2013


With summertime in full swing, many places seem to be buzzing with activity. Some drivers love to take their dogs with them on car rides throughout their busy days, but there are some things to consider before plopping your beloved pooch into the passenger seat.

Dogs love a good ride in the car, the wind slapping their jowls and their tongues almost dragging on the road. While your dog may be ecstatic to be joining you for your daily errands, don’t turn its dream ride into a nightmare by leaving your beloved pooch in the sweltering heat of a parked car. If you don’t have air conditioning you can leave on, get your car maintenance in line before attempting to leave your pet in the car by itself for any period of time.

Every year, thousands of pets are left in parked cars while owners step into a shop or the bank for “just a second.” This is especially dangerous for animals left in a hot car without the A/C running, even if the windows are slightly rolled down. Dogs don’t have sweat glands like humans; the only way they have of cooling down is panting and losing heat through their paw pads.

According to PeTA’s website in an article on leaving dogs in hot cars, “On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.”

Of course, everyone loves their pet and their car. You already take care of your car’s maintenance with things like tire alignment and transmission repair, so why not take that same kind of care with your dog? Dogs have always been called man’s best friend, but if we keep leaving them to overheat, suffer, and die in our parked cars, will they be able to say the same about us?

Sources: PeTA: Dogs in Hot Cars article

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