Leave Spot Home on Warm Days!
June 28, 2012
It’s that time of year again. Yesterday’s tragic, preventable story of a dog’s death – from heat exhaustion after being left in a hot car – is a gut-wrenching reminder of just how deadly cars can become on even an overcast, warm day.
It happens so quickly; You think you’re just going to dash into the store for a gallon of milk and then you run into a chatty acquaintance and 10 or 20 minutes end up passing before you get back to the car.
Meanwhile, Spot begins panting and, unable to cool himself in the increasingly ho air, he begins to drool, and his heart rate increases. When you’re still not back, he begins to have trouble breathing and becomes disoriented. Collapse or loss of consciousness follows. Seizures come next and, ultimately, respiratory arrest. Most of these deaths happen not out of intentional cruelty but because people loved their dog too much to leave them home.
Yes, he wants to be with you. But bringing him along in the car on a hot day is a very selfish act, one that can literally kill him. Our obligation to our beloved dogs is to keep them safe and that means making Spot stay home on days that are warm – even if it is overcast and even if you’re just going to run a quick errand.
Did you know that cracking the windows has little effect on the temperature inside the car?
A recent press release by Red Rover, an organization focused on bringing animals out of crisis and into care , includes 5 reasons why leaving a dog in a hot car can be deadly:
- Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet.
- Even seemingly mild days are dangerous. In a Stanford University study, when it was 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature climbed to 116 degrees within one hour.
- Enclosed cars heat up quickly. In a study by San Francisco State University, when it was 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rose to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes.
- A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.
- Studies show that cracking the windows has little effect on a vehicle’s internal temperature.
“People are under the misconception that dogs are tougher than humans are, that they can handle the heat,” [Red Rover] said. “But the reality is, they are more susceptible to high temperatures and depend on us to keep them safe.”
“People often leave their dogs in the car while they shop or run errands, but doing so can literally be a death sentence for your pet,” said RedRover President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “You might think you will be gone for ‘just a minute,’ but every second counts for a dog left in a hot car. If it’s hot outside, leave your dog at home.”
- How hot does your car get? Check out the data.
- Summer tips to keep your dog cool
- http://mydogiscool.com has WONDERFUL posters, flyers and brochures you can print and use to spread the word!