Local Veterinarians Discuss the Dangers of Leaving Dogs in Cars During Hot Days

Temperatures have been on the rise in the 80's and 90's and so have the number of calls to police reporting animals locked inside cars

FARGO, N.D. — Temperatures have been on the rise in the 80’s and 90’s and so have the number of calls to police reporting animals locked inside cars.

“This time of year we seem to get more calls for service for animals left in vehicles especially on hot days, and it’s a concern for both our department and the citizens who see it,” Jessica Schindeldecker with the Fargo Police Department said.

It’s very common when running errands to leave our furry friends behind, but even doing that for a few minutes could be dangerous.

“We may think it will only take five minutes and we’ll go in real quick and we’ll leave our animal in there and they’ll be okay, but sometimes things happen and they take longer,”¬†Schindeldecker added.

People often forget that while humans can sweat to regulate their body temperatures, dogs have a much harder time adjusting to heat.

“Dogs have to pant,” Paul Striegel, a veterinarian at the Animal Health Clinic explained. “It’s the only way they can release heat from their bodies. They just can’t dissipate enough heat and their bodies start to get overly hot.”

And leaving your¬† car windows open doesn’t relieve the problem.

“There’s so many people that feel as long as I crack my windows they’re getting fresh air, but even with windows cracked it still doesn’t allow enough air in,” Striegel said. “Sometimes it doesn’t take a 90 degree day either. In the high 70’s, even the 80 degrees it gets real hot real fast.”

Striegel says notifying the police if you do see one of our four-legged friends locked inside a warm car could save the pups life.

“People that do see this it’s important,” Striegel explained. “You don’t have a lot of time on a real hot day and they should make the phone call and have somebody come to open up that car. It could mean the difference between life and death for that dog.”

Studies show that when it’s 75 degrees outside, it takes only 10 minutes for it to reach 100 degrees inside a vehicle.

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