Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Heat Hurting Pets

Did you know that the coat on a dog is equivalent to wearing a double insulated winter coat?  Did you know that your pets do not enjoy summer as much as you do?  Did you know that the inside of a car can go from 75 degrees to 140 in less than 15 minutes if left in the sun?  Do you know that we have data showing the inside of some cars going up as much as 200 degrees?  Wow.  Is anybody listening yet?

I was reminded 2 weeks ago of how many people still don’t get it.  While parking at a mall, my daughter spotted a little Cocker Spaniel locked in a car next to us.  Inspection revealed that the dog was locked in this car, engine was not running, and although the window was cracked 2 inches, there was considerable heat present inside the car.  We spent the first 5 minutes running from store to store unsuccessfully looking for the owner of the car.  We then called the fire department to come help us.  Five minutes into waiting and talking to a slow responding pooch through the crack in the window – and the owner shows up, without a care in the world; out of a tanning salon may I add.  She proceeded to defend her stupid actions by stating she was merely gone less than 2 minutes.

My point in this story is that people still don’t get the dangers of a summer day with their dogs.  In this case, it was more important to lie to us about her incompetence, than it was to provide needed help to her dog.  Rest assure that she received the wrath of DogMan, however, she learned nothing from it, and the dog was still hurt.

So, the “hundred thousand dollar question” is; “why is your dog in your car?”  Unless you have a genuine reason for Fido to be with you (going tanning with you is not a good reason), it’s simply not recommended that your dog leave the safety of your home.  However, if you need to transport your dog somewhere; have you planned for that unfortunate car break-down?   Cars do break-down at the most inconvenient times (a pet-peeve of mine).  Do you have a leash, collar, bowl, and fresh water jug?   What will you do if that great car of yours breaks down?  Think it out; it will make the difference in “life or death” for your dog.

Do not leave your pets (or kids) in your car while you “quickly” run anywhere.  You have no idea what may happen that will delay your return to your loved ones.  I’m reminded of the woman in the East Coast who loaded her dogs in the car in her driveway, to hear her kid yell in the house – after running back in the house as any other great parent would, and spending the next 45 minutes mending her kid’s badly cut finger, she returned to her two dead dogs.  Certainly parenting the child was very important and could not be replaced.  It does serve as a reminder that your mind is typically preoccupied with the emergency of the moment.  Life happens and typically at the oddest times.  Think it through before you act!