Ever notice when the temperatures are warm, that if you leave for parked car for at least 10 minutes, when you come back, it is much warmer, if not hotter, than the outside temperature? Have you ever actually stayed in your vehicle with the window cracked and because it became so warm, you either had to open the window all the way or open your door? Weren’t you glad you had the capability to do that to get relief from the heat?
You may think that you are being a kind, loving pet owner by taking your animal with you during some of your outings in your vehicle. On an 85-degree day, the temperature in your car, even WITH the window slightly opened, can reach 102 degrees in ten minutes. In 30 minutes, it can go up to 120 degrees.
A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees to 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A healthy dog can usually withstand a body temperature of 107 degrees – 108 degrees Fahrenheit for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage—or even death. And the suffering that goes along with this death is not only horrible but it is also illegal. (CA PC 597)
Bottom line— when it’s hot, leave your pet at home! Open windows and shaded parking areas won’t save your pet’s life.
In addition, be sure you know these signs of heat stress:
Rapid pulse rate
Deep red or purple tongue
If your dog does become overheated, get him/her into the shade and take these emergency steps:
Apply ice packs or cold towels to head, neck and chest or;
Immerse your pet’s body in cool, not cold water until body temperature is lowered
Don’t give your pet an unlimited amount of cold water all at once. Also you can let him lick ice cubes.
Get your pet to a veterinarian immediately. It could save your pet’s life.