Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pets Left In Hot Cars Can Be Deadly!

Today I was leaving a store, it was almost 90 degrees outside. I heard a bark and looked over at the car near me and inside was a big basset hound. The windows were all cracked a couple of inches, but not enough to cool a car when it is 90 degrees outside. The inside of the car would be much hotter. I went into the store and the manager paged the owner. No one came out. I was trying to get through to animal control on my phone, when the owner finally came out. She said she was only gone 5 minutes (I was watching the dog for 15 minutes) and she didn't seem concerned with what she had done.

There are laws passed now and it is a crime to leave a pet in a hot car. It just boggles my mind that someone would leave a pet in a closed car in hot weather. There are hundreds of calls across the country everyday to rescue pets.

Overheating can be fatal. It only takes ten minutes on an 85 degree day for the inside of your car to reach 102 degrees - even when the windows have been left cracked open! When the temperature is a pleasant 70 degrees outside, the inside of your car may be as much as twenty degrees hotter. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. Dogs do not sweat. It takes only 6 minutes for a dog to die in a hot car and a mere 4 minutes for it to cause the dog brain damage.

Signs of Overheating in Pets: Heavy panting; increased salivation; dry mouth, nose and gums; weakness; vomiting or diarrhea, and ultimately, collapse.

Heat Stress Care: If you think your pet is suffering from heat stress, seek immediate veterinary care. As you wait for veterinary assistance, wet or sponge the animal down with cool (not ice) water. Take care not to get water in the mouth of an unconscious animal.