Car Temperature Risks Dog Safety
Pomona, NY: The Hudson Valley Humane Society wants to remind the public of the hazard of leaving a dog in a car. One dog needed rescue from confinement in a vehicle at a State park in Rockland resulting in an officer breaking the window to save the dog; another dog was left in a car in Spring Valley. Temperatures in vehicles climb rapidly. On the average 85° day it takes 10 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 102° with open windows. Within 30 minutes the interior can register 120°. The general rule of thumb is that an interior car is at least 20° hotter than the ambient temp outdoors; parking in the shade offers little relief. Animals which are overweight, young/old, heavy or dark coated and/or breeds with short muzzles are at greater risk. “Dogs should never be unattended in a car, period,” commented Rich Raheb, Chief of Patrol HVHS Humane Law Enforcement. He continued, “If you pass a parked car with an animal inside act immediately, call the HVHS Humane Law Enforcement at 845-354-3124 or the local police and save a life.” Confinement of a companion animal in a vehicle is in violation of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 353-d and 353.
“Hyperthermia happens when a dog absorbs more heat than its body can dissipate and is a medical emergency. An animal’s ability to regulate its temperature is overwhelmed and fails,” stated Ann Marie Gaudio, President and HLE Agent. “Without immediate medical attention death occurs; it is common sense not to put an animal at risk in a vehicle.”
HVHS consulted Dr. Mark Lerman, DVM, of All Creatures Great & Small for advice. He commented, “The best advice is DO NOT take your dog in the car in warm weather unless you absolutely have to; all it takes is one distraction and your dog can die.”
o If you suspect an animal has overheated, contact and transport to a veterinarian immediately.
o Move to a cool place, put alcohol on its neck as it vaporizes it removes heat from the body. Wet the dog’s head to cool and protect the brain.
o If the dog is able to stand, wet towels and place in the groin area, armpits and ears. If the dog cannot stand, use a hose to drench. The goal is to get the body temp down rapidly and get to a vet!
o Offer the dog water slowly; ice chips are better.
o Be prepared; save the phone number for a 24-hour veterinary emergency facility and your veterinarian’s emergency phone number on your cell.
o Never travel casually with your dog … it is too easy to become distracted and forget your dog in the car!
o If you visit a park with your dog, then take your dog into the park with you – DO NOT leave him in the car.