Vet Risks Heat Stroke to Show What Happens When Dogs Are Left in Hot Cars

how hot does it get in a parked carLet's take a break from talking about leaving your kids in the car for a moment and talk about something new: Leaving your dog in the car. I see dogs left in parked cars far more often than I see kids. Usually the window has been cracked open -- and if it's summertime, that dog is panting up a storm. Should we be worried? One veterinarian thinks so. Dr. Ernie Ward took video of himself sitting in a hot, parked car for 30 minutes to find out what it's like for dogs.

He's got the windows cracked, but the temperature of the car climbs up to 116 degrees. That's not even the worst part.


Dr. Ward talks about the sense of helplessness dogs feel when they're trapped in an uncomfortable place. Think about it -- they're unbearably hot, but there's nothing they can do about it. Even if they don't suffer heat stroke, it's torture. The veterinarian pointed to his soaked shirt. At least he was able to sweat his way through the ordeal. But dogs don't sweat, they pant, which in this case may not be enough. That's why NOT leaving pets inside parked cars on hot days is one of the top summer safety tips for pets. Here are a few others.

Shade and a water bowl. Make sure your pet has easy access to both through the summer. Pets need to stay hydrated, just like humans.

Water safety. Not all dogs instinctively know how to swim, so make sure yours is safe around bodies of water. Don't let your dog drink pool water, and always wash off chlorinated water from their fur. 

Trim, don't shave. A dog's fur actually protects it from sun and heat, so you're not doing your pet a favor by shaving it all off.

What are your big pet safety tips for the summer?


Image via Dr. Ernie Ward/YouTube

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