In the summertime, we may be tempted to bring our pets with us as we go about our daily business. After all, taking your dog for a car ride must be exhilarating for them, right? Having the windows down and the wind rushing by is a great way to enjoy the heat of summer days. But leaving your pet alone in the car on hot summer days is not exactly the best idea. In fact, the rapidly rising temperatures in an unattended car can endanger your pets. What can you do in the blazing heat?
Just How Hot Can a Car Get?
Imagine that it is only 70 degrees outside. It might be pleasant – not too cool and not too warm. But that temperature might not be the same for your car, where after just ten minutes, it can be pushing 90 degrees. After thirty minutes, it can break triple digits. Eighty-five degree heat is even more dangerous, as ten minutes later it will already be over 100. Pets, particularly dogs breathe differently than humans do. They typically pant to vent heat and also let heat pass through their skin from underneath their fur. But higher temperatures interfere with their natural cooldown abilities. Heatstroke can happen suddenly, so here is how you can help.
How You Can Help
If a pet or other animal, it’s best to contact the authorities as soon as possible. Although certain states have laws against leaving pets behind in overheated cars, not every state does. Unless you have received instructions from the authorities, don’t do anything. Remain near the car until the authorities can get there to release the pet.
Responding to Heatstroke
If you see the pet exhibit some of these symptoms, they might already be suffering from heatstroke:
- Excessive panting and drooling accompanied by fatigue (early symptoms)
- Discolored gums, limp body, labored breathing (severe symptoms)
Here’s how you can help reduce the heatstroke:
- Seek out cooler areas, preferably air-conditioned indoor locations.
- Apply cool water on the ears and on the paws.
- Dampen towels with the cool water and press the towels to the upper body around the shoulders and neck.
- You should also press damp towels underneath their front legs, replenishing water as needed.
- Offer some cool water to drink, or if they can swallow it, some chips of ice.
- If your pet is not responding to these basic methods, it’s time to rush them to the veterinarian for emergency treatment.
More Summertime Advice
- Dogs with short snouts and long coats are more vulnerable to heatstroke. Puppies and other young dogs can be easily affected as well.
- When it’s scorching outside, try to arrange your pet’s yard time for the early morning or the early evening.
- Be careful around asphalt and other paved surfaces. Asphalt heats up incredibly quickly, and the heat from it could hurt your pets as well. If you use sunscreen on yourself and your kids, why not use it on your pets too? Noses and ears are particularly exposed, especially for pets with lighter colored noses and ears.
Get in Touch with Wachter Insurance
Whether you need homeowners’ insurance or automobile insurance, our team at Wachter Insurance Agency, Inc. is here to help. We offer all of our clients competitive rates, professional customer service, and a huge range of policies to choose from for your needs. We have been serving Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia since 1969 and we would love to help keep your home and family safe every day of the year. For more information, give us a call at (301) 371-6335 or visit us online. For more blogs like these, follow us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.