Each year, pets get sick and die in hot cars. Owners often plan to “be right back,” but when they become distracted or their errand takes longer than expected, their animals suffer the tragic consequence.
On a 75 degree day, the temperature in a car can soar to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. On a 95 degree day, that temperature climbs to nearly 125 degrees, even with the windows cracked.
“Pets don’t handle heat nearly as well as humans do, and they can quickly suffer permanent brain damage or die from heat stroke or suffocation,” said Bobby Mann, communications director for Front Street Animal Shelter.
Signs of heat stress include heavy panting, unsteadiness, glazed eyes and a deep red or purple tongue. If pets display these symptoms after being in a hot car, they should be cooled and brought to a veterinarian immediately.
The best practice is to never leave your pet unattended in a car for any amount of time. They should be left at home if you need to run errands, and if they absolutely must be left in the car, the air conditioning should be left on and a bowl of fresh water provided.
“Pets deserve to be comfortable and safe just like humans do,” Mann said.