BURLINGTON, N.C. – While the Piedmont is getting a break from the oppressive summer heat and humidity, Burlington police and veterinarians are reminding us that leaving your dog in a parked car is a bad idea.
"Cars get very hot very quickly," said Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital's Sara Talbot. "With the windows closed and no air conditioning, it's well over 100 degrees in there."
Over the weekend, Burlington police responded to calls of dogs locked in hot cars. In each case, officers were able to find the owners and remind them that leaving a pet in a hot car can have a dangerous outcome. Talbot agrees.
"Even a quick trip to the grocery store, leave them at home unless you are going to the vet, a friend’s house, to a park where you are going to be doing something with them," Talbot said. "Don’t bring them along for the ride. It’s too hot.”
According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, pets left in hot cars can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in 15 minutes. Talbot adds owners should also watch their dogs while they are working out in the park.
"Things to watch out for. If they start dragging behind when normally they are right there with you, they are tired. They are getting heat exhaustion,” Talbot said.
That's when it's time to stop working out and take your pet back to an air conditioned house.
If your dog is still sluggish, Talbot suggest hosing them off gently with cold water. If cold water doesn't work, then it's time to call the vet.
If you have an outdoor dog, leave your pet with plenty of fresh water and a shady place to cool off.
"Make sure you have some shade," said Talbot. "Not a dog house, but a shaded area like a cabana, something like that that’s overhead providing them some shade.”
Burlington police wants us to be aware. If you see a dog in a hot car, call them for help. Police say do not try to open a locked car on your own.