Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Shouldn't Even HAVE To Say This!

I don't know why EVERY year, people have to be told this and EVERY year, pets still die unnecessary deaths because their owners left them in a car, on a warm (not necessarily swelteringly hot) day for a "few minutes."

The past few days it's been hot and humid. Generally, unless you are taking the pet somewhere (the vet, groomer, dog park), you should leave them at home. Make sure the air conditioner is running and they are getting adequate air flow.

Note: a pet with his head hanging out the window makes me cringe for several reasons: ear/eye irritation (and possible eye trauma) is UNAVOIDABLE and some will be tempted to jump out at a stop or parked position. I've seen that scenario a few times (with major trauma involved) when working at an emergency clinic.

AND when you take them someplace, make sure they are properly restrained. I have seen a dog that was the victim of a rollover accident because she was loose in the back seat. She was a Golden Retriever. They DO make crates or even harness/seat belt combos for dogs of ALL sizes. She had numerous pieces of window glass embedded in her face. It could've been much worse.

The AVMA has a great page on this including this table which shows the air temperature outside versus inside your vehicle. In just a few minutes the temperature can rise 19 degrees or more (even with a "cracked" window!). Don't do it!!! And if I see a dog in a car on a warm day, I WILL (and have) called the police. 

Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time
Elapsed timeOutside Air Temperature (F)
0 minutes707580859095
10 minutes899499104109114
20 minutes99104109114119124
30 minutes104109114119124129
40 minutes108113118123128133
50 minutes111116121126131136
60 minutes113118123128133138
> 1 hour115120125130135140
Courtesy Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University

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