EUGENE, Ore. — Heat’s not just dangerous just for people, but for animals as well. Veterinarians say leaving them in cars while running errands is extremely unsafe. Vets say a pet’s body temperature can rise rapidly to levels that can kill them.
With temperatures in the 90’s, it isn’t a rare sight to see people playing outside with their pets but with nice weather, also comes with some dangers.
“It’s really a matter of life or death and can happen quickly,” said pet owner Sasha Elliott. “I’m panicked. It breaks my heart because I don’t think most people realize how quickly the temperatures can climb in a car.”
Veterinarians say a car in extreme heat can be compared it to a pressure cooker.
“Pets can’t tolerate the heat that a car produces, even for a short amount of time. Therefore, pets should never ever be left, even for brief periods of time, in the car unattended,” said Dr. Ingrid Kessler, Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Springfield.
Even with windows cracked, it doesn’t alleviate the heat.
“While I think people have good intentions by bringing their pets with them maybe to run errands or visit friends, it can be deadly,” Elliott said.
Vets say playing outside with pets is okay, but to stay away from strenuous activities and keep in mind to cool them down.
“Many things that you can do include providing water, either a kiddie pool or a sprinkler, or just even hosing them down,” Dr. Kessler said.
Elliott says she makes sure to keep fresh water around for her dogs and doesn’t play with them at the hottest part of the day. She says if a pet is locked in a car, to not just be a bystander.
“On behalf of the animal community here if you do see somebody’s pet locked in a car, immediately take action. Try to find the owner of that animal and if you cant find the owner of that animal please call 911,” Elliott said.