Today I saw a dog in a parked car at the local coffee shop. Undoubtedly, the dog’s owner thought she would pop in for a quick iced latte to-go. No matter how quickly she thought her caffeine jolt would take, the dog shouldn’t be waiting in a hot car. Certainly not in Charleston, South Carolina. The dog was panting and clearly uncomfortable, which made me uncomfortable.
Not at all concerned about making a spectacle of myself, I went into the coffee shop and asked if anybody left their dog in a car. A young gal sheepishly slinked by me. After my caffeine hit, I still couldn’t get over it. And because scientia potentia est, I’m writing this post.
It’s estimated that hundreds of dogs in the US die in hot cars every year. According to the Charleston Post & Courier:
--On an 80 degree (F) day the inside of a car can reach 120 degrees in 30 minutes
--On a 90 degree day the inside of a car can climb to 160 degrees in 10 minutes.
People, please. This is serious.
It hits 90 degrees by 10:00am or 11:00am around here this time of year. I repeat, a car heats up to 160 degrees in 10 minutes on a 90 degree day.
Dogs have an inefficient self-cooling system. In the spirit of keeping our pets safe and alive, remember:
- Do not transport your dog in the bed of a pickup truck (yes, I have to say it. We see this far too often here in the south). This should be avoided at all times but especially during the hot summer months. In the back of a truck, your dog is exposed to the sun’s direct rays with no shelter. Additionally, the summer sun heats up the metal bed of the truck to the point where it can scorch your dog’s feet.
- Never leave your pet in a parked vehicle. If you see a dog that has been left in a hot car, barge into the place you think the owner is and ask whose dog is baking in the sweat box. Alternatively (or additionally, whatever it takes), note the car’s color, model, and license-plate number and immediately call local humane animal control authorities or the police.