Have you ever opened your car door on a hot summer day and gone inside? Even for those few seconds before the AC gets kicking, the heat can be unbearable. Now think about that same heat if you had a coat of fur. Pets and hot cars do not go together, which is why eTags often talks about this issue on its blog about the dangers of hot cars for pets. While you can certainly take your pup with you on a day trip (he or she will probably love it), there are a few precautions eTags recommends you should make.
Unfortunately, there are very few laws on the books protecting pets in cars. Pets are more likely to be victims of heat exhaustion in states that do not have laws against leaving animals in unattended, confined vehicles. Even if there may not be any criminal charges pursued for such matters in many states, it is still strongly encouraged that you never leave your pet in an unattended vehicle in the summer. Here’s why:
- Cars can heat up in as little as thirty minutes to unbearable temperatures. The first thirty minutes are the most intense regarding heat speed. No living thing should be left in a locked, unattended vehicle.
- Leaving the windows cracked is not enough to prevent heat exhaustion. When tested, this did very little to reduce the heat speed. This may be due to several factors including how interior color can affect how heat is circulated and is trapped even with cracked windows.
- Many pets are more susceptible to the heat exhaustion. For example, a pet with a short snout will have a tougher time breathing in a hot environment than other breeds. Pets with longer and/or thicker coats will overheat more quickly as well.
- Finally, if you notice a pet in danger in someone else’s vehicle, you can call your local police or animal control for help. Wait by the vehicle until help arrives. Some states do have protections for Good Samaritans to break into a vehicle to safe an animal in danger but, before you do this, know your state’s laws.