Dangers of Leaving Your Pet in the Car During Summer

pet in carAt Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital, we often have to provide emergency services to pets who have been left in a hot car at Rancho Cucamonga, San Antonio Heights, Ontario, and Fontana, CA. Summer heat is very dangerous for pets, so please take a few minutes to read this very important blog post. It could save your pet’s life.

Why Summer Heat is Dangerous for Pets

Your pet has a higher body temperature than you, and feels hotter than you on summer days as a result. When you are driving around with your pet in the car, the air conditioner keeps both of you cool. When you stop to run a quick errand, you likely leave the windows cracked for your pet or park in the shade. Unfortunately, these simple measures are not enough to protect your pet.

On a hot day, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees Fahrenheit after just 10 minutes. After an hour, the temperature in your car will be 40 degrees hotter than the temperature outside. Even if temperatures feel moderate to you, your dog can experience heat exhaustion from waiting for you to return.

Veterinary Advice: How to Recognize Heat Exhaustion

If your pet experiences heat exhaustion, there is a real possibility of death. Signs of heat exhaustion include excess panting, drooling, red gums, rapid or irregular heartbeat, wobbly or unsteady walk, and unconsciousness. If you see any of these signs, it is critical that you take your pet to our veterinary practice right away or call us at 909-980-3575. Puppies and senior pets are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion, so this advice is even more critical if you have a pet on either end of the age spectrum.

If you love your pet, our veterinarian, Dr. Reid Shufer, urges you to leave your pet at home on hot days. If you must take your pet with you — for example, if you are going to the groomer — do not run other errands while you have your pet in the car.

Will you leave your pet at home this summer to keep him or her safe?