Home > Health Care - Dogs, Pet Topics > I just ran in to get lemons…

I just ran in to get lemons…

Hot Car = Hot Dog

Hot Car = Hot Dog

It was only 2 1/2 months ago that I wrote about the dangers of keeping a dog in a hot car. My experience today just reminded me that this is an issue that should be revisited often. All of us need to take a role in educating people on the dangers of keeping a dog (much less 3!) in a hot car, including me.

As I exited the grocery store today, I saw 3 standard poodles sitting in a hot car. Yes, all the windows were down half way, but the car was sitting in the hot afternoon sun. All 3 Poodles were hanging their heads out the windows and panting (I can’t imagine why!). I was about to call the police, when the lady came out of the store. I asked her if she knew that she had put her dogs in danger and that her dogs could have overheated in about 15 minutes and died. Her response? “Yes. Yes. I know. I just ran in to get lemons.”

I guess to many people that is not such an uncommon a response. After all, it was only a few minutes and the windows were open. If we’re honest, chances are that many of us have done something like this in the past. That’s why I really want to encourage everyone to check out a great website and find out just how hot a car can get for a dog in a matter of minutes. My Dog is Cool provides people with 3 graphs showing both the outside temperature and the temperature inside a car based on 3 different car scenarios: windows closed, 4 windows cracked open and 2 windows cracked open. You can even put in your own zip code to see what the temp is in your area and how hot you can expect your car (and dog) to get over a period of time. Check out how long it takes for a dog (who’s resting body temp is normally between 101 and 102.5 degrees) to overheat. In case you’re wondering, a dog can only stand a temp of 107-108 degrees for a very short time before brain damage sets in.

In the case of of the 3 Standard Poodles, I wasn’t far off, another 15 minutes and they would have been in serious distress. That’s why it is so important for everyone to know and understand how quickly a car can heat up, because the real truth is that every minute we are inside that store we are putting our dog(s) in jeopardy – even if it is just to get lemons.

  1. August 10, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    I can’t tell you how much this distresses me – dogs don’t have the same standing core temperature that humans do! Theirs is significantly higher than ours. Dogs retain heat well but have a harder time letting off heat (which is why they resemble hot water bottles in the winter). Humans are the opposite – we have difficulty staying warm and we warm up slower. A dog stuck in a hot car for 10 minutes is in a much more dire situation than a human baby. Few of us would think it’s acceptable to leave babies unsupervised in vehicles for any amount of time – I wish we would extend dogs the same kindness.

  2. August 11, 2009 at 2:05 AM

    Colleen – That’s what distressed me so much. Their heads were out of the car, but their whole bodies were suffering the heat inside the car. Not much of a way to cool off. I can only hope the woman will think twice before doing it again since someone said something to her in front of other people.

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