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The Dangers of Leaving Your Pet in a Hot, Parked Car
It's Hot Outside...and Even Hotter in the Car
The summer months are fully upon us, and pet travel is at its height. We have all heard a lot in the news lately about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars, and the same goes for leaving your pets behind. Whether you're parking in the shade, just running into the store, or leaving the windows cracked, it is still NOT okay to leave your pet in a parked car.
The temperature inside a car can skyrocket after just a few minutes. Parking in the shade or leaving the windows cracked does very little to alleviate this pressure cooker.
On a warm, sunny day try turning your car off, cracking your windows and sitting there. It will only be a few short minutes before it becomes unbearable. Imagine how helpless your pet will feel. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can reach 102 degrees within only 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. At 110 degrees, pets are in danger of heatstroke. On hot and humid days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute, and quickly become lethal.
Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study to measure the temperature rise inside a parked car on sunny days with highs ranging from 72 to 96 degrees F. Their results showed that a car's interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees F within an hour, regardless of ambient temperature. Ambient temperature doesn't matter - it's whether it's sunny out. Eighty percent of the temperature rise occurred within the first half-hour. Even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is out.
Further, the researchers noted that much like the sun warms a greenhouse in winter, it also warms a parked car on cool days. In both cases, the sun heats up a mass of air trapped under glass. Precautions such as cracking a window or running the air conditioner prior to parking the car were found to be inadequate.
"If more people knew the danger of leaving their pets in their parked cars, they wouldn't do it," states Kim Salerno, TripsWithPets.com President & Founder. "Pets are very susceptible to overheating as they are much less efficient at cooling themselves than people are" adds Salerno. The solution is simple - leave your pets at home if the place you are going does not allow pets.
Dogs are designed to conserve heat. Their sweat glands, which exist on their nose and the pads of their feet, are inadequate for cooling during hot days. Panting and drinking water helps cool them, but if they only have hot air to breathe, dogs can suffer brain and organ damage after just 15 minutes. Short-nosed breeds, young pets, seniors or pets with weight, respiratory, cardiovascular or other health problems are especially susceptible to heat-related stress.
Signs of heat stress include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue. If a pet becomes overheated, immediately lowering their body temperature is a must.
Animal Services Officers or other law enforcement officers are authorized to remove any animal left in an unattended vehicle that is exhibiting signs of heat stress by using the amount of force necessary to remove the animal, and shall not be liable for any damages reasonably related to the removal. The pet owner may be charged with animal cruelty.
Creating greater awareness is the key to preventing pets from this unnecessary suffering. TripsWithPets.com offers some tips to help spread the word:
~My thanks to TripswithPets.com for this very important PSA. Let's hope that people pay attention!!~
With the busy summer travel season upon us, many families are hitting the road with their families - and that of course, means their four-legged family members too. To ensure safe travels for everyone, it's important to take heed of a very real pet travel safety issue: Pets and distracted driving.
When we think of distracted driving, the typical "culprits" that come to mind include texting, eating, applying makeup, chatting on the phone, or even daydreaming. However, we seldom consider that traveling with an unsecured pet is a very real and dangerous distraction.
AAA, in conjunction with Kurgo, conducted a survey of people who often drive with their pets. The survey showed that a whopping 65 percent of pet parents admitted to partaking in at least one distracting activity while driving with their dog. Additionally, 29 percent of respondents admitted to being distracted by their four-legged travel companions, yet 84 percent indicated that they do not secure their pet in their vehicle. According to the survey, drivers were petting their dogs, putting them in their laps and giving them treats. Some drivers (three percent) even photographed their dogs while driving.
It's pretty easy to understand how an unsecured pet can be a distraction while driving. Some pets may become anxious or excited, causing them to jump around or bark while in the vehicle. Additionally, a happy and loving pet may just want to be near you and crawl on your lap while driving. Oftentimes, pets can be frightened and there is always an element of unpredictability with any animal. When looking for comfort, dogs and cats may naturally opt to be near you. Unfortunately, this may add to the possible perils caused by these distractions.
Properly securing your pet in your vehicle is not only about alleviating the potential driving distraction that could cause an accident. It is also a proactive approach in case there is an accident or sudden stop - even a fender bender can injure an unsecured pet. We wear seatbelts for our safety in case of an accident, and we should take the same care to secure our pets. A pet that is not restrained properly in a vehicle can be seriously harmed or even killed if thrown from a vehicle. Airbags can go off and injure a pet in your lap. In the event of an accident, frightened pets can easily escape from a vehicle and run off. Further, a pet that is not properly secured may not only be harmed but could also put others in danger through the shear force of any impact from an accident.
Ensuring your pet is safe while traveling in your vehicle means finding the pet safety restraint that is right for him. Options include pet seat belts, pet car seats, travel crates, and vehicle pet barriers. Planning to have the right pet safety restraint for your trip will not only keep you and your pet safe but also offer you peace of mind and take one more distraction away.
TripsWithPets.com is the premier online pet friendly travel guide -- providing online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets.com for detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. TripsWithPets.com also features airline & car rental pet policies, pet friendly activities, a user-friendly search-by-route option, as well as pet travel gear. For more information, please visit http://www.tripswithpets.com. http://www.tripswithpets.com