As the summer starts to heat up, it’s time to be wary of the danger of hot cars. So, before you leave the dog in the car to get the groceries, remember these facts.
It can get dangerously hot in the car
According to a study published in Pediatrics journal, in-car temperature can climb very rapidly if left in the sun. Researchers found that if it’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside, in an hour the temperature inside the vehicle had climbed to 113 degrees F. With a temperature of 80 degrees outside, the temperature in the car had reached 123 degrees F after just an hour. At 90 degrees outside, it was at 133 degrees inside the car after an hour.
Rolling down the window doesn’t guarantee anything
Neither does parking in the shade. Either way, temperatures can climb to dangerous levels. In addition, adequately-rolled-down windows could let the dog out of the car, or leave the dog owner legally liable if someone claims that the dog bit them through the window.
Air conditioning can fail
What if you just turn on your air conditioner? Simply put, air conditioning can break. There are many examples of this happening – in 2003, a police officer left his patrol dog in the car with the air conditioning on. The AC malfunctioned and began blowing hot air. Eventually, the car shut off because the engine had overheated, but by that point, the dog had died.
Dogs don’t sweat much
Dogs can only cool themselves by panting or sweating through their paws. If the only air available for them to pant with is warmer than they are, then panting is not going to do any good, and paw-sweating can only do so much. Before too long, panting in the hot air can cause the dog to lose consciousness.
It’s often illegal
Leaving a dog (or any animal) in an unattended car in a manner that could be dangerous to the animal is against the law in 14 states: Arizona, California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia. Some states, like Maryland, even include provisions that allow certain people, like police officers and volunteer firefighters, to break into a car with force without being held liable for damages.
If left in a hot car, your pet could face serious injury. Just 15 minutes in a sufficiently hot car could cause the dog’s body temperature to rise to dangerous levels that could do damage to the dog’s nervous and cardiovascular systems. Heat-related damage like this often leaves dogs comatose, dehydrated, and at risk of permanent injury, up to and including death. It is a much better idea to just leave the dog at home on warm days.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.