Imagine this…you’re walking back to your car with your bag of groceries. Two cars over from yours you notice a car with two small dogs in it. You do a double take then glance around to see if anyone is walking behind you; praying the dogs’ owner is coming back. Nope – no one there. You notice that the windows are cracked about an inch and both dogs’ tongues are hanging out of their mouths. It can’t be that hot; the windows are open, right? At least that’s what you think to yourself. The dogs occasionally bark at you and 3 minutes later, still no sign of the owners….
What would you do?
- Get in your car thinking, they’re not my dogs and it’s none of my business. The owner will probably be back very soon.
- Wait another 5 minutes hoping the owner comes back.
- Go back into the store hoping to find the owners or at least have the store make an announcement on it’s loudspeakers?
- Call the police hoping they can open the car for the dogs?
Well this actually happened to this dog sitter in Chandler. And let me tell you, I was FURIOUS. It was a very warm July evening and although it was dark, it was still a good 90 degrees at night. I did all of what the story describes above only my story involved going to a restaurant. After several minutes went by, and I’m watching the dog whose tongue was lolling out of it’s mouth, I called the police thinking surely they can do something. Well I was wrong!!! The police showed up but informed me there was nothing they could do. I angrily walked away from the police and intended to go into the restaurant *hoping* that the owner was inside and they could page the owners. As I’m walking inside, I notice the owner *finally* approach the car – it had been nearly ten minutes. Upset on behalf of the dog, I scolded the owner telling them it was way too hot to leave the dog in the car, even with the windows cracked. What I got was the usual…”I was only gone for a few minutes” and a brush off by the owner.
I don’t think people realize how HOT it can get inside a car, even after just a few minutes. Your Chandler pet sitter is begging you not to ever, EVER leave your dog in a car. Many well intentioned individuals do this thinking, well I left the windows open for air circulation and I’m just going in for two things. What they don’t realize is all the things that can cause you to stay gone longer than you intended: you see something on sale and you want to check it out, you accidentally break something in one of the aisles and have to get someone to clean it up, you run into your neighbor who starts a conversation with you about their child and then invites you to come over for a BBQ that weekend, the person in front you at the checkout has an issue with their purchase holding up the line, etc. etc. Next thing you know, your 3 minute trip inside the store turns into 15.
Surely it can’t get that hot in a vehichle in just a short 10-15 minutes right? WRONG! I know I’m using a lot of capital letters in this blog – that’s because I am very passionate about this topic. We live in Arizona. It gets very hot in a short amount of time. Please check out this fantastic link which has charts showing different scenarios of internal car temperatures and a video as well.
Well that is just numbers on a chart you may be thinking. OK, then please check out this short video from a vet who actually DID stay in the car and registered the temps inside as he did. It really brings home how bad it can get and how quickly. And keep in mind, your dog has on a fur coat, and she can’t sweat!
Pretty scary, huh?
I have happily not run across this scenario in a long time. But if I did again, and I saw the dog in danger or that they’d been inside more than a few minutes…you can bet I’m going to consider breaking that window to save that dog’s life. Maybe that seems rash to you. But how long has the dog been in the car *before* I got there? That’s what’s going through my mind!
Dogs can and DO die from heatstroke. Perhaps you have heard the CNN story recently of the Canadian dog walker who left 6 dogs in her car? She was gone for 45 minutes and ALL SIX DOGS DIED! While I don’t advocate we all go around bashing windows in (of course I’ll check to see if the car is unlocked or has a hatch, etc.), I would ask you to 1) please NEVER leave your dog in a car at anytime no matter how cool you think it is outside. Leave them at home if you’re running errands! 2) If you see someone whose dog is in the car, don’t hesitate -do what you can to locate the owner immediately. 3) See if you can maybe open the window a little further (some windows will be able to be pushed down) 4) If it’s been at least 5 minutes, you can bet that dog is in serious heat distress on it’s way to heatstroke. At this point you will have to make some ethical decisions for the sake of the dog. As I said, me? Your dog sitter in Chandler is doing what I can to get the dog out of the car. The dog’s life is worth far more to me than a window that can be replaced.
I encourage you to share this blog – as it is a very important matter that many misinformed dog owners are unaware of.
Tell me what you think below. Have you ever seen a dog or other pet in a closed car? What did you do? What are your feelings on this matter?