The Auto Greenhouse Effect

Well we think it’s safe to say that summer is HERE! I learned yesterday after leaving my own pup in my car with the windows down for 30 minutes that leaving-your-dog-in-the-car season is over. A parked car in the sun can resemble a greenhouse’s heating effect. Car windows act to both absorb the sun’s rays and insulate your vehicle. Let’s not forget that the sun feels hotter and is stronger because of our high altitude. We humans can release heat from our bodies through sweating but dogs (and cats) do not have an advanced self-cooling system as we do. ALL dogs are at risk of heat stroke and could die or have irreversible health damages due to heat stroke.

PAWS has created a car temp chart that is handy to keep in your own car to remind you of what temps equal danger for your dog, as even we who have pups and paws on the brain at all times can be guilty of forgetting as the seasons change. It’s never a bad idea to have frozen water bottles for them to lay on or allow them to get wet before getting into your car if there is a chance that you may need to run into the grocery store and leave them behind. Yes stinky, but better stinky than sorry!

Feel free to pick up one of these handy charts from our office or look for our PAWS tent this summer, we’ll be out and about at many community events as well as on the trails and pathways.

If you do see a dog in distress in a car we urge you to call the Sheriff’s Department at 307-733-2331 to have an officer come and check out the scene.