If you think it’s hot in the summer – imagine how your fur-covered pet feels!
Every year as the weather warms up, it’s important to be pet aware and take precautions around leaving pets in hot cars. Citizens and pet-owners alike are responsible for ensuring the safety of animals during the dog days of summer!
Within just an hour of sitting out in the summer sun, a car can reach unbearable temperatures – ranging from 35 degrees Celsius to 47 degrees Celsius. Even just five to 10 minutes waiting for their human to come back can cause serious damage to an animal’s body and brain in those temperatures. Animals don’t have the same sweat glands as we do so these conditions aren’t just uncomfortable, they can be deadly. Signs of distress can include: vomiting, excessive drooling, weakness, convulsions, exaggerated panting (or completely stopped panting).To help alleviate the devastation caused by pets being left in hot vehicles, Tesla has released an innovative feature called “Dog Mode.” This allows pet owners to leave pets unattended in vehicles while maintaining a cool, comfortable temperature and informing passersby of their safety by displaying a large message on the center touchscreen, that reads “My owner will be back soon. Don’t worry! The A/C is on and it’s [temperature]” and prominently display the temperature setting on screen.
If you do see a pet in a car that seems to be exhibiting signs of distress as outline above – whether the windows are up or cracked open a bit – avoid the urge to smash the window to free the animal. This is breaking the law and considered property damage; anyone can still be held liable for damages even if your intentions are good. Instead, take down the vehicles license, make, model, location, and call 911 for help.
Pet owners should also be vigilant during walks throughout the Summer. Pets require access to fresh water during hot weather and owners should opt for shorter, more frequent walks. It is also recommended to avoid asphalt on hot days to prevent potential burns to the pads of their paws.
If you have non-emergency concerns about the welfare of an animal, call: 1-833-9-ANIMAL (264625).
Article written by Jessica Ireland, HSLM Volunteer