It’s a breezy, summer, Saturday afternoon. A perfect day for lounging and doing nothing in the shelter of your favorite shade tree in the back yard. Or, perhaps, taking a leisurely drive with your favorite buddy- your dog, Ralph. You opt for the leisurely drive and set out on your way with the windows rolled down and the radio up. Ralph loves these drives with you and, as usual, he pokes his head out of the window and lets his tongue wag on the wind as he radiates satisfaction and ease. You pull onto the main street of town and scan for any friendly faces you may recognize perusing the various shops and restaurants along the street, when suddenly you see the local pharmacy in the corner of your eye and remember that you forgot to pick up that prescription yesterday after work. It’s good that you decided to go for a drive, you tell yourself, and feel relieved as you turn around and park. Suddenly, you look over and remember Ralph in the passenger seat. You quickly consider your options and think to yourself that you will just be a few minutes and can keep the windows cracked for him. He will be fine, no problem. You close your car door and dodge quickly into the pharmacy. You approach the desk and are surprised at the long waiting line. Hoping it will go quickly, you take your place in line and begin the wait. After ten minutes, you begin getting a little irritated and think about Ralph, but you are just one person away from being helped so maybe it won’t be too much longer. After another five minutes, you begin to worry about Ralph just as the person in front of you leaves and you step up to the counter. You hope to get your business done quickly and be right out so you push the thoughts of Ralph to the back of your mind in order to attend to what you need to pick up. As the pharmacy worker tries to look up your prescription she gets a puzzled look and tells you to wait a moment. She clicks at the mouse as she looks through the computer and reads the screen, bewildered. Finally, her eyes light up and she finds your prescription and makes her way to the back to grab it. She comes back promptly with the prescription and you pull out your wallet, ready to pay. She then quotes you a price that is $150 more than you expected. You have already become irritated at the wait, and then a little more irritated that she was not able to find your prescription at first, and now are so upset that you lose all thought of your precious Ralph in the car. You begin going through the complex insurance arrangements that led to such a high balance with the employee and then a manager. Meanwhile, Ralph, without the ability to sweat, and essentially no breeze coming through the cracks of the windows, is panting dramatically and beginning to feel very weak and lethargic. His heartbeat has begun racing and his gums and tongue have begun turning a deep red. It has been twenty minutes since you went into the pharmacy and he is becoming dangerously close to overheating.
This story, all too often, does not end well. At this point, sadly, it may already be too late. What many owners do not realize is that, even with the windows cracked, a breeze does not really filter into the vehicle in order to cool your pet. It becomes dreadfully hot inside of a vehicle, even when it feels breezy and mildly warm outside. This environment is very dangerous for your pet. We may think we are going to be right back, but, things happen, and even 10 minutes inside of a vehicle on a 90 degree day can be fatal. It is always best to be cautious and, either not bring your pet along with you on a hot day, or never leave them in the vehicle if you do. This video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbOcCQ-y3OY , by Dr. Ernie Ward, will give you a great understanding of just how unbearable a hot car is. Please, do not leave your beloved pets inside of a hot vehicle, the consequences could be, and often are, fatal.