Summertime brings us fun days in the sun, but how does that affect our pets when they tag along for the ride? Whether you run into the store to grab something or step out to pump gas and get a quick snack, pets can easily be exposed to very high temperatures while in a closed-off vehicle.
Understanding Your Vehicle’s Temperatures
Most of us don’t think leaving our pets in a closed car for just 10 minutes would make a big impact on their health, but we would be wrong. Example: On a sunny 75° summer day, your closed vehicle will jump almost 20 more degrees in just 10 minutes of being gone and even hotter throughout an additional 30 and 60 minutes. You should never leave your pet in a closed, turned-off vehicle.
Signs of a Heatstroke
All pets can suffer from a heatstroke and chances increase with age and pre-existing health conditions, including overweight and obesity. Signs that a dog or cat may be suffering a heatstroke include increased heart rate, weakness, drooling and/or increased panting and trouble breathing.
Removing long hair from your pets can be a great way to help keep them cool. When trimming your dog, it is important to remember that their coat acts to protect them from overheating and sunburns and overcutting can lead to less protection. It is always important to ask your vet before trimming your pet yourself. Both dogs and cats can be brushed out to help prevent overheating when temperatures are high.
State and Local Laws
Keeping your pet in a car isn’t a good idea but more than half of states have gone the extra step by creating laws protecting animals locked in cars. Depending on your state and local laws, your vehicle could be damaged and/or you could even be charged with a crime.