By: Joel Allen
A few years ago when I was visiting the Athens, Alabama, Pet Depot, I and some other customers heard barking. It was about this time of year, and the barking was coming from a parked van in front of Pet Depot. We looked at the van and found that dogs were inside with the windows up; and it was getting hot outside. After waiting to see if the owner would show up soon and when they did not, we called Athens Police. The police responded within a few minutes. As the officer was looking at the van, a woman walked out of the nail salon next door and informed the officer that she was the owner. Now, I did not hear the conversation between the officer and the woman in question, but after the conversation was over, the woman left and the officer just shook his head and went on his way. I can say this though, that was stupidity at its finest because dogs wear fur and get hot quickly. Those poor dogs did not have any way to get cool air in the situation they were in. Another thing everyone needs to remember is that a dog’s normal body temperature is 102 degrees, and dogs sweat through their tongues.
So, why am I harping on this? Well, in this hot season we are all going to see dogs in cars with windows up and the temperature high. Some people will think it is okay to leave their dog in a running car with the windows up and the air conditioner on. That idea is not the best because the a/c could stop running. Remember if anyone sees this happen, call your local police and have it investigated because you could be saving a life. If it is my vehicle, and I see the police investigating my car, I won’t be offended. I do this but I leave a window open, not cracked, just in case the a/c stops working. I have said this before and will again — if someone leaves their dogs in a hot car with the windows up, a broken window will be their own fault because we, the many, will chance going to jail to save a life.
Another problem I see a lot are trucks with dogs in the back on hot metal. That metal gets hot enough to cook on, so we all know it can cook paw pads. I know I tend to say this every year, but if this applies to anyone reading this, put some protection down for your dogs!
Now, let’s talk about the dogs outside. In the shade, it is 20 degrees cooler most of the time. On a real hot and humid day, the breeze is almost unbearable in itself, so don’t assume your outside dog is all right. Go and look at them. Check and ensure their water is fresh and they have shade. Water and shade are keys to making it through the hot days to come. Dogs can suffer heat stroke too!
Lastly, if someone has to be reminded of this constantly, then they should not have a dog…and in my opinion, I would also worry if they have children.
By: Joel Allen