How hot does a car have to get for your dog to overheat and die?

It’s that time of year again: pleasant summer days when dog owners are tempted to take their beloved pet in the car with them for that quick trip to the supermarket.

The problem is….on even a mild 75-degree day, the temperature inside a car – even with the windows cracked – can reach 120 degrees in 30 minutes.

Now, suppose you were sitting in that car as it heated up. As your body temperature started to climb, your sweat glands would kick into high gear and you would perspire heavily, which makes your body temperature go back down.

Unfortunately, your dog doesn’t have all the sweat glands we have. He can sweat a little bit through his paws, but mostly he sweats through his tongue, by panting. But when he has only hot air to breathe, his body temperature climbs so rapidly that he cannot lower it simply by sweating through his tongue and paws.

That means he is going to overheat quickly….and probably die.

If you see a dog in a car on a hot day, even with the windows cracked, note the type of car and license plate number. If you can tell which store the owner is in, ask the store manager to page the vehicle’s owner. Otherwise, call the police, who usually respond faster than Animal Control.

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