Hot car can kill your pet

On an 85-degree day, it takes ten minutes for the inside of your car to reach 102 degrees.

The message from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is “Please leave your pet at home in hot weather.”

According to a press release from the ASPCA, a vehicle’s interior can reach 120 degrees within 30 minutes, even with the windows rolled down an inch or two. Parking in the shade doesn’t offer much protection, and the shade moves with the sun.

Pets with the highest risk of overheating are young and elderly animals, overweight animals, those with short muzzles, and those with thick or dark coats.

According to the RedRover animal protection charity, “Exposure to excessive heat causes the body’s cells to stop working properly and release dangerous chemicals, which can lead to nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage and even death. Essentially, all of the dog’s organ systems shut down at once.”

Signs a dog is suffering from a heat-related illness include: excessive panting, excessive drooling, increased heart rate, trouble breathing, disorientation, collapse or loss of consciousness, seizure and respiratory arrest.

The ASPCA release said if a dog is overcome by the heat, bring down it’s body temperature by soaking the pet in cool (not ice) water, making sure water does not get into the mouth or nose of an unconcious animal.

If an animal is found in a hot car, police or animal control officers should be notified. Also, store managers do not wish to have animals die in their parking lots, and can help locate owners in their stores.