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Car Temperature Risks Dog Safety
Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013

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.”


Safety tips:

 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.

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