Dogs in Hot Cars

Being that we live in Arizona, we will be talking about a very important topic that affects your pets well-being and that is dogs in hot cars..

How hot can it get in your car?

San Francisco State University did a study to find out what the average rise in interior temperature of an enclosed vehicle is over time. They found that there can be an increase of 19 degrees in just ten minutes all the way up to 43 degrees in 60 minutes. Now, imagine adding that increasing temperature to our already stifling hot Arizona day.

Every year pets die in hot cars; the most devastating part of these deaths is that they are totally preventable. Dogs can suffer heat death in a car at even relatively low temperatures.  After 30 minutes in the sun at 70 degrees, the temperature inside the car can reach 104 degrees.  At 95 degrees outside, the inside of the car gets to 129 degrees.

To give you a better picture of how often this occurs,
From 2018-2019, 78 pets suffered heat stroke and died in a hot car. Completely preventable!

Some pets who are more susceptible to heatstroke include; dogs with broad, short skulls (also known as brachycephalic breeds) and dogs with heart conditions, as well as overweight or underweight dogs, are also more likely to exhibit symptoms of heatstroke.

If your dog is experiencing any of the following symptoms, bring them to a cool area as soon as possible and provide them water:

  • Excessive, rapid breathing or panting
  • Bright pink gums
  • Decreased energy
  • Rapid heartbeat

If you see a pet stuck in a hot car, Thanks to a recent piece of Arizona legislation, House Bill 2494, which Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law in May 2017, allows a “Good Samaritan” to break a window to rescue a child or pet from a hot car. Under the new law, however, breaking a window is legal as long as you meet three criteria.

  • The rescuer has a good faith and belief that the confined child or pet is in imminent danger of suffering physical injury or death unless they are removed from the vehicle.
  • The rescuer determines the car is locked or there is no reasonable manner in which the person can remove the child or pet.
  • Before entering the vehicle, the rescuer notifies the proper authorities (defined).
  • The rescuer does not use more force than is necessary under the circumstances to enter the vehicle.
  • The rescuer remains with the child or pet until the authorities arrive.Here are some helpful tips:
    How to prevent: Never leave your pet unattended in a car.
    When traveling: Find pet friendly restaurants, hotels, stores, etc.
    During the summer, unless absolutely necessary, leave your pet at home.To quote Michael Dix DVM, Medical Director, Best Friends Animal Society,
    “Never leave your pet in a parked car when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. Not even with the windows partway down, not even in the shade, not even for a quick errand. Dogs and cats can’t sweat like humans, so they pant to lower their body temperature. If they’re inside a car, recycling very hot air, panting gives no relief, and heat stroke can happen quickly.”Let’s do our part to keep pets safe this summer and prevent heat stroke or worse consequences of leaving your pet in a car.

Written by: Crystal B.

Narrated by: Alex W. 

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