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The majority of dog deaths due to overheating go unreported but it is estimated that several hundred dogs suffer from this every summer.

Hot dogs are meant to be on a grill, not in your car

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With the Dog Days of Summer right around the corner, it isn’t just the people feeling the heat. Every year, especially in these hot summer months, dogs are dying or becoming ill because of the careless mistake their owners are making by leaving them in the car unattended, even if it is “just for a minute.”

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When it is around 70 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature can climb to over 110 degrees within an hour, and on an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to 100 degrees in 10 minutes.

The consequences of leaving a pet in a car in warm weather can be life-threatening. Animals can sustain brain damage or die from heatstroke in a mere 15 minutes.

The symptoms of a dog in distress or suffering from heatstroke are restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, fever and more.

Angel Duratti is the owner of Angels Pet World in Hudson and is no stranger to seeing and hearing about man’s best friend being left in cars unattended in sweltering heat, and  thinks that this is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

“People think running inside for 15 minutes is a short amount of time,” Duratti said, “but a 75 degree day can turn into 100 to 120 degree day inside the car.”

Beating the high temperatures is especially harder for dogs because they only sweat through their paw pads, and not the rest of their body. Duratti believes that overheating plays a huge factor in the death of dogs in the summer time.

“I think if it’s sunny and 65 degrees out and the windows aren’t down, it’s too warm to keep the animals in the car,” Duratti said. “There’s a fine line in when you can leave them in there and when you can’t.”

Duratti keeps an eye out for unattended dogs in vehicles on hot days in the parking lot of her store, and encourages others to do the same in parking lots everywhere.

“If somebody sees an animal in the car and the windows are rolled up and it’s a hot day, they need to write the license plate number down and go into the store to see if they can find them,” Duratti said. “If not, I believe you should call the police and wait there until the police get there.”

If you need to bring your dog with you in the car this summer, leave the air conditioning on while you run in the store to prevent the possible suffering for your furry friend. 

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