The increasingly high summer temperatures are bringing the normal reminders to avoid leaving children alone in vehicles. But an Evansville animal shelter says pet owners also need to be aware of the dangers of leaving dogs inside hot vehicles.
Vanderburgh Humane Society Executive Director Kendall Paul says many dog owners make the mistake of thinking it’s OK to leave their pet in a vehicle with the windows cracked. She says the temperature inside that vehicle increases very quickly.
“I always recommend to people—try it yourself. Go out there on a hot and sit in that car for a few minutes with the windows rolled up, or even with them cracked a little bit, and you’re going to start to see what kind of temperatures very fast you’re putting your animal in. But we just recommend that you don’t do it.”
Paul adds that pet owners often tell themselves they’ll only be gone for a few minutes, and that their animal will be fine inside the car without any air conditioning.
“And often times if you just run in for a few minutes, you think it’s just going to be a few minutes in the store, but then it takes a little bit longer, or something delays you,” Paul said. “It only takes a short amount of time—once the temperatures outside start hitting in the 70s and 80 degrees, the temperature inside that car is going to climb even higher than that.”
Published research shows a car in 84-degree weather reached an interior temperature of 110 degrees in about 18 minutes. In 88-degree weather, the car reached 110 in about 14 minutes.
The research also found that cracking a window had little effect on the car's temperature.