A Heated Debate

By Steve Dale

Cars Get Hot!

Hot cars and dogs do not mix. After 20 minutes, when it’s only 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car will begin to cook, reaching 109 degrees—even with the windows cracked—according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

“If it’s too hot for a person, it’s too hot for a dog,” says Dr. Mark Russak, past president of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

If you remember from last year, Steve Dale wore his wife’s fake fur coat (most dogs can never remove their fur coats) and sat in a hot car to see how fast the car heated up. Steve was miserable, and his wife’s fake fur coat will never be the same. Watch it here.

A Legal Issue

In 29 states, there are laws against animals being locked in hot cars. Unfortunately, there’s still no mandate that law enforcement will act accordingly upon hearing these reports. However that is quickly – and fortunately – changing. While people can sweat off the heat, dogs are restricted to panting, which isn’t an efficient cooling mechanism.

If you find a pet locked in a hot car, call local law enforcement before breaking a window (to protect yourself from being held liable for the property damage), unless the animal appears to be in distress. If law enforcement refuses to take your call seriously, or doesn’t show up until after their estimated time of arrival, call back and communicate you need to break the window to save the pet.

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