Have you ever seen a dog left in a hot car while you were walking through a parking lot? This is really bad, because even on a perfect 70-degree day, the inside of a parked car can reach 99 degrees in just 20 minutes! And on a 90-degree day, it can soar to as high as 109 degrees in just 10 minutes. That’s way too hot—even if the windows are slightly open—and animals left inside can die.
If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, have your grown-up help you write down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. Then go inside the store or other building where the owner might be and ask an employee to make an announcement to the customers. You can also call the police. Make sure someone is there to watch the dog at all times—don’t leave until the pup has been saved.
If no one comes fast enough and the dog needs help immediately, your grown-up should ask other people to agree that the animal is in danger and then do whatever it takes to get the dog out of the car.
Print out our coloring sheet and color it in as nicely as you can. Then hang it up in a place where lots of people can see it, give it to someone you know, or put it in the window of your grown-up’s car to remind others that a car is no place to leave a dog.
Being in a hot car is really uncomfortable. And because dogs are covered with fur, they can get very hot and thirsty on a warm day. Make sure your dog always has access to clean drinking water, and if you see other people’s dogs panting, ask if you can give them some water, too. Dogs pant because they can’t sweat to cool off the way humans can. And heatstroke can kill them in just 15 minutes.
Has the sand ever burned your feet at the beach? On a sunny day, sidewalks can get really hot—just like sand! Always touch the sidewalk with your hand before you take your dog out for a walk. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Try to go for walks early in the morning or after the sun sets, when it’s cooler out. Bring water for your dog, and take frequent breaks in shady spots.
Talk to your grown-ups and make sure they know never to leave your dog inside the car when they’re running errands, even if it’s for “just a minute.” Always encourage them to stop and help dogs left in cars on a summer day. And teach adults how to do the sidewalk test so they know how to see if it’s cool enough to take a dog out.
Thanks for doing your part to keep dogs safe and cool this summer! 😎