COUNTY – With temperatures just starting to heat up in the foothills and elsewhere, it’s a good time to remember that parked cars can be a deathtrap for dogs.
According to experts, a moderately warm day of about 78 degrees outside can result in the temperature inside a parked car soaring to as high as 120 degrees in just minutes.
On a 90 degree day, the interior temperature of a vehicle can reach 160 degrees in the time it takes to run what may seem like the quickest errand.
An untold number of dogs suffer and die every year when left in a car on a warm day. Animals can wind up with brain damage or even die from heatstroke in as little as 15 minutes. Dogs cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads, so it’s especially hard for them to take heat.
In order to remember a dog that’s sitting quietly in the back seat of a car, it’s suggested that pet owners keep the animal’s toy or collar on the front seat as a visual reminder of the responsibility.
PETA recommends that anyone who sees a dog left alone in a hot car have the owner paged in the nearest building, or call authorities.
Symptoms of canine heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Also watch for dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination.
Any dog with these symptoms is to be removed from the heat into an air-conditioned vehicle and taken to a veterinarian immediately, recommend animal caregivers.