It’s summertime, and there are a lot of car-ride loving pooches confused why they suddenly can’t come run errands with you. As disappointed as they are, it’s best to leave them home in the cool air conditioning. Did you know that when it’s 72 degrees outside your car can heat up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit – within an hour? At 80 degrees it only takes 10 minutes for your car to reach close to 100 degrees. Unfortunately, rolling down the windows has little effect on cooling the car down.
But what if you spot someone else’s pup stuck in a hot car? Not only can this be dangerous, it can be downright deadly. Here’s what to do if you find a pooch in need:
- Record the car’s license-plate number, make and model.
- Notify nearby business managers or security guards.
- Make an announcement over the P.A. to the dog’s owner.
- Call 311.
- Consider breaking the window and removing the dog. Many states have good Samaritan laws – research your local laws to know if you have immunity to rescue a distressed animal.
- Speak up! Contact your local representatives and make sure your area has a law prohibiting leaving pets in hot, parked vehicles.
If the dog shows signs like heavy panting, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue, they may be having heatstroke which can kill. Get them to a cool place immediately and seek medical attention.
Remember, most dogs will NEVER refuse a chance to take a ride with their favorite human. Call it tough love, but it’s up to you to judge when the temperatures are safe enough to leave Spot in the backseat.