Never Leave Your Pets in a Parked Car

 By: Linda Goguen
Never Leave Your Pets in a Parked Car Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels.

On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

As someone who lives in a small coastal town in the Pacific Northwest, I know that probably 5 out of 10 people in the area drive around with their 4 legged friends riding shotgun. We are usually cool enough for our pets to be safe but as summer is quickly speeding up on us we need to consider how the increasing temperature can put our pets into danger.

It important to consider the humidity and not just the ambient temperature. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels-very quickly. So in areas with high humidity always consider this when deciding if your pet can go for a ride with you or not.

Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing.

Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.

Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) So don't rely on fans they don't cool off pets as effectively as they do people.

Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don't obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat-in fact, it makes it worse.

Always make sure your pet has a place to get out of the sun either under a tree or under a tarp covered area to make sure they don't get overheated.
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