Sometimes busy and distracted, we can make a deadly mistake at this time of year. It can be so tempting to “just run an errand for a minute,” and leave the dog or the cat in the car.
On an 85 degree day, even with the windows cracked, the temperature can soar to 102 in 10 minutes. On a hotter day, the temperature can become 30 degrees hotter per minute when the car is parked in direct sun.
SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
FIRST, if you see a pet in these circumstances, contact security, if possible. Have the owner of the car paged, or have security force the locks, if necessary.
LOOK FOR THE FOLLOWING SIGNS of heat stress:
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Heavy panting
- Heavy salivation
- Change in tongue color
- Lack of consciousness
TO LOWER THE PET’S BODY TEMPERATURE GRADUALLY:
- Move it to an air conditioned space or in the shade
- Let the pet drink a little cool water or lick ice cubes
- Use ice packs or cold towels near the head, neck and chest
- Get the pet to a veterinarian.
NEVER let a life that depends on you for love and protection suffer this fate. It simply isn’t worth the risk to a companion animal you love.