Dogs really ARE Miracles with Paws!!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dangers of Leaving Your Pet in a Hot, Parked Car!!

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, 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.

  • Move the pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over their body to gradually lower their temperature.

  • Apply ice packs or cool towels to the pet's head, neck and chest only.

  • Allow the pet to drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

  • Take the pet to the nearest vet. 

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. offers some tips to help spread the word:

  • A good start is to let friends know about the dangers of leaving their pets in a parked car and remind them to keep their pets at home on warm sunny days if they'll be going anywhere pets are not allowed.

  • The Humane Society of the United States has posters available for a nominal fee that store managers can post inside their windows to remind shoppers that "Leaving Your Pet in a Parked Car Can Be a Deadly Mistake." They also have similar hot car flyers.

  • Get involved. If you see a pet in a parked car during a warm sunny day, go to the nearest store and have the owner paged. Enlist the help of a local police officer or security guard or call the local police department or animal control office.

~My thanks to for this very important PSA.  Let's hope that people pay attention!!~


easy rider said...

we always hope that the people will learn this lesson... and we hope for a year without dogs who lose their life that way... sadly it happened this year again,.... like always... why some people are so careless... sigh...

iCloudia said...


Molly and Mackie said...

Great info! We are not allowed to travel in the car in the summer unless someone stays with us in the car at all times

ann thompson said...

excellent info. It surprises me with all the warnings that are out there that people will still leave a dog in a car.

Ruby said...

Ma never takes me in the truck this time year, unless I'm goin' with her! Why peeps do this is just beyond my comprehension!!! Stay cool gurls!
Ruby ♥

Bell Fur Zoo said...

Great post!!! Mom is still shocked when she see's people leave their pets in the car in the heat. She always calls the pawlice or notifies the store manager so they get the whatfur fur leaving their precious pooches in the car!!!

Amy Boyer said...

Much as Toby loves his car rides, summer means he gets left home alone. Just saw on the news that a police dog died due to being left in the car. And 14 golden retrievers going to a dog show died while the driver took a 2 hour nap (in a hotel room). The AC to the box van tripped a fuse and went out. Tragedies like this don't have to happen!

Mary said...

Good information!! Sad that some don't always think of the fur babies. Glad you do!!