No one looks forward to summer more than me. I get my beach pass on Feb. 1st, the first day it becomes available for the summer season, each year, and put it on my car asap. My dog, India, also looks forward to summer. She gets to spend extra time with me in an especially good mood, and accompany me into town in the morning for coffee. She is welcomed into all the stores, while my coffee cup is not, left sadly on a ledge outside, while she is treated to water bowls and fancy dog bones that she rarely gets at home. We go to beaches in a part of the country where dogs have a really good life. Really good. Case in point:
Dogs here enjoy themselves. The term, “Dog days of summer” takes on a whole new meaning in this town, where I have seen signs advertising people that will, for a small fortune, come to your home and teach your dog to swim in your pool. They have pictures with the dogs, in doggie water life vests, being held by the instructor in the pool. That’s right, private swimming lessons in your own pool, with the instructor getting in the pool while you watch! And evidently, this is quite a successful line of work, because these signs have been up for years.
But, in spite of the best intentions of their pet parents, even in this pet paradise, I still see dogs waiting in locked cars, in the summer. We have all seen it, and many of us have even dared risk leaving our dogs in the car for a few minutes while we run into the bank, etc.
I have a chart that I show when I teach my pet safety class. It elicits the most gasps, more than any bloody photo of an injury . It does that, because it shows just how easy it is to cause a dog to overheat in a car. The car acts like an oven, raising the temperature to levels much higher than the outside temperature. Hyperthermia can occur much easier than you realize. Certain breeds are predisposed, as are overweight animals, and cardiac patients. Brachycephalic breeds with flat, pushed in faces, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, Bulldogs, and did I mention Bulldogs, are especially susceptible. On very hot, humid days, opt to leave them home from the dog park, preferably in an air conditioned space. The same goes for cats.
Dogs do not sweat, and are thus challenged when it comes to lowering their body temperature. Heat stroke can occur at 104-106 degrees, and temperatures greater than 106 degrees can be deadly. So keep that in mind when you read:
outside temperature temperature inside car
70 degrees is too hot to 75 118
leave a dog or cat in the 77 123
car! 81 138
I hope you found this as informative as I did when I first read it. Pass it on.
And enjoy your summer!