At PugetPets we want to take this opportunity to address an issue that is very disturbing to us, as pet sitters and dog walkers, advocates of dog safety and health. Too often while out on our dog walking duties, PugetPets staff have reported seeing this on their routes, or while on dog walks in the city.
Everyone in Seattle, it seems, has a dog. And many of those love to take Fido with them wherever they go. That includes taking them along in the car. A car that can be lethal to Fido if left inside that car.
With summer winding down and fall on its way, we may tend to think we don’t have to worry about this issue as much. But in Seattle, we are still having record heat during the days. Although September will start to cool off, we can still have warm days, days that are too hot to leave a dog (or cat or any pet) inside a car.
The temperature inside a parked vehicle can rise rapidly, even if the windows are cracked.
On a 90 degree day, the inside temperature can rise to 125 degrees in 20 min. At 80 degrees it can rise to 109 degrees. At 70 degrees outside it can rise to 99 degrees. The inside temperature can rise almost 20 degrees in just 1o minutes, 30 degrees in 20 minutes…..On a 70 degree day, the temperature can rise up to 110 degrees in an hour! Cracking the windows does not help reduce the temperature or the rapid rise in temperature.
These temperatures can cause serious illness and death to your pet. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will ‘only be a couple of minutes’ running into the bank or the store. ‘I’ll park in the shade and crack the windows.’ A couple of minutes can easily turn into fifteen minutes or half an hour.
Join PugetPets in spreading the word about the lethal dangers of leaving dogs or cats inside vehicles. Let’s educate dog owners to think ahead, and leave the dog home. If you do see an animal in a car call authorities. And hope it’s not too late.
In February 2015 the Washington Senate passed a bill making it illegal to leave a pet inside a locked vehicle:
Unattended animals in danger of heat exposure (or cold) can be fined $125, and charged with animal cruelty. Police and animal control personnel can now break into vehicles to rescue animals, without any liability for property damage
Here is a great link to a blog from VetDepot about steps you can take if you find a dog locked in a car. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you would break a window, but it outlines a good plan