Hill County Paw Pals, Hill County, Texas

Summer Temperatures Make a Car a Potential Oven

I know many of us have seen a dog sitting in a car while the owner is shopping inside a store.  Temperatures in a car can quickly reach high and dangerous temperatures.  Even though the temperature outside may only be moderately warm, studies show that temperatures inside parked cars, even with the windows left open, rise faster than many people might expect. 

How long does it take for a care to get hot?  Here are some measures: Outside temperature of 85 degrees will rise to 100 degrees in a car in only 7 minutes and to 120 degrees in 30 minutes; outside temperature of 100 degrees will rise to 140 degrees in a car in just 15 minutes!  Alarming temperatures of 200 degrees have been recorded in cars exposed to direct sunlight.

As the temperature of a parked car rises, a dog left inside will be brought the edge of heat prostration.  The dog will struggle to get out of the car, and the more it struggles, the faster its body temperature will rise.  Dogs are inefficiently equipped to dissipate heat from their bodies because their only means of doing so is through panting.  Dogs do not have sweat glands.  Once a dog’s body temperature reaches a dangerous level (105 degrees), its cells begin to die as body temperature rises and will sustain irreversible organ damage and other problems due to toxic chemicals released by the damaged cells.  Every year many dogs die agonizing deaths in parked cars.  Don’t let this happen to your dog.  During the summer months, be kind to your dog and leave it at home. 

In the event of heat stroke, do the following: Gently place the dog in tub of cool water, spray with cool water from a garden hose, apply ice packs to the head and neck, and call a veterinarian as soon as possible for professional care.

For information about Hill County Paw Pals, the group of concerned citizens with goals of establishing a county animal shelter and animal control, please call (254) 580-0679 or email hcpawpals@yahoo.com; or write PO Box 1533, Hillsboro, Texas 76645.