Dog owners, this might surprise you. Since we deal with temperature a great deal here on WUWT, and since the only canine member of the Union of Concerned Scientists has informed me that he is concerned about this issue, and since we are getting into the hot season here in the northern hemisphere, I thought I’d take a moment to pass on this information as a public service announcement.
From the American Veterinary Medical Association:
Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles. We’ve heard the excuses: “Oh, it will just be a few minutes while I go into the store,” or “But I cracked the windows…” These excuses don’t amount to much if your pet becomes seriously ill or dies from being left in a vehicle.
The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!
Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference.
Want numbers? An independent study showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96º F rose steadily as time increased. Another study, performed by the Louisiana Office of Public Health, found that the temperatures in a dark sedan as well as a light gray minivan parked on a hot, but partly cloudy day, exceeded 125oF within 20 minutes.
This study also found that cracking the windows had very little effect on the temperature rise inside the vehicle. This is definitely a situation where “love ’em and leave ’em” is a good thing. Please leave your pets at home at home when you can…they’ll be safe and happily waiting for you to come home.
And, mostly importantly NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN IN AN UNATTENDED CAR.