March 08, 2013

Leaving Your Pet in the Car can Kill them

Not many people know that leaving a pet alone in a car is a bad idea. Even on a cool day leaving your pet in the car for a few minutes can be dangerous.

We live in a region where temperatures remain hot and humid for most part of the year. Cars, even with air conditioning on, can heat up real fast on a typical summer day. Come back to a parked car just after a few minutes and you will feel like you’re sitting inside an oven, especially when you have to sit on hot leather/vinyl covered seats. When you know how hot the inside of your car can get, it is mere common sense to not leave your pet unattended in it.

In summers, the inside of a car can heat up really fast. Even cars parked in shady areas with windows cracked open are not safe for animals. Within 5 - 10 minutes the temperature inside your car can rise up really high. Did you know that your pet can suffer from heatstroke and even die if you leave it unattended in the car? Sadly many people don’t realize this.

Your Car is an Oven for an Unattended Pet
Your dog or cat cannot sweat like you, which is why they are unable to release the heat in their body as fast as perhaps a human can. Leaving your pet in the car “for just a few minutes” can be fatal. Hot weather and humidity can combine to become lethal for an animal left in a closed vehicle or areas of high humidity. Your pets can only withstand the high temperatures for a short while, after which they will start panting, their body temperatures will rise up quickly and if you do not take immediate steps to get them out of the heat, they can also suffer from severe illness and even death.

Just remember NEVER EVER Leave your Pet Unattended in a Car! It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you absolutely must keep your pet in the car and have no other choice, then make sure that all windows and vents of the car are opened as wide as possible. Check your pet every 5 minutes to ensure that your pet is not panting excessively or showing any signs of sickness. Keep fresh water at hand for your pet.

What to Do If Your Pet has Heatstroke?
Heatstroke can be fatal. If your pet is suffering from a heatstroke, take it to a vet immediately. Meanwhile apply towels soaked in cool (not very cold or icy) water to the hairless part of the animal’s body to lower its body temperature.

Symptoms of Heatstroke:
  • Excessive Panting
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Anxious
  • Reddened Tongue
  • Blank Stare
  • Dry Skin
  • High Fever
  • Sudden Collapse
Cars are not the only death traps in hot weather. Leaving your pet outside on a hot day without any shelter or shade is also just as bad. Don’t leave your pet in a cage outside or chain them in areas where they will be directly in the sun.

How you can Help?
  • Educate – Make flyers for distributing in your neighborhood. Create posters and email them to friends and family or spread the word around, online and offline. Let people know the dangers of leaving pets in a car. You can find a few great posters here.
  • Speak Up – If you see an animal sitting unattended in a parked car outside a building or supermarket, try and locate the owner. Keep an eye out for the animal and if you see it panting badly or looking sick, raise an alarm, if possible.
  • Proper Shelter – If you keep your pet outside, ensure that there is adequate shelter, the area is shaded and well ventilated. Keep plenty of fresh water for your pet and avoid excessive outdoor activity.

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