Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Car Safety Continues

I am obsessed – I admit it. Or obsessive?

Yesterday as I was leaving work (my office space is above a Trader Joe’s) I noticed that the woman who parked in my parking space left her dog in her black BMW with the windows cracked maybe 3 inches. The air quality was terrible yesterday – it was hot and humid – easily in the 80s with a humidity percentage of 78. My car felt like an oven. I felt compelled to park and find her in the store and tell her that she was putting her dog’s health in jeopardy. Let me assure you I was not warmly received.

For you caring and dog savvy folk out there I KNOW car safety is a no-brainer, but for a lot of the “mainstream” dog owning public it apparently is not.

So, please forward this to friends and family who might not be aware they need to be educated.

From the Humane Society of the United States website:

“On a warm, sunny day windows collect light, trapping heat inside the vehicle, and pushing the temperature inside to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree Fahrenheit day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within ten minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. At 110 degrees, pets are in danger of heatstroke. On hot and humid days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute, and quickly become lethal.”

A relatively recent (2005) Stanford University Medical Center study titled, PARKED CARS GET DANGEROUSLY HOT, EVEN ON COOL DAYS…., found that on days with a high of 72, the temperature in a car can spike to 96 degrees.

“Their results, published in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics, showed that a car’s interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees F within an hour, regardless of ambient temperature. Eighty percent of the temperature rise occurred within the first half-hour.”

Even scarier, this study found that leaving the a/c on in your car only delays the temperature spike by 5 minutes!

From the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences Study (2007) HYPERTHERMIA DEATHS OF CHILDREN IN VEHICLES:

Average elapsed time and temperature rise
10 minutes ~ 19 deg F
20 minutes ~ 29 deg F
30 minutes ~ 34 deg F
60 minutes ~ 43 deg F
1 to 2 hours ~ 45-50 deg F
“Cracking” the windows had little effect
Vehicle interior color probably biggest factor

From the Animal Protection Institute Study HOW HOT DO CARS GET:

Dogs do not have the best cooling system – this is a fact. “Panting and drinking water helps cool them, but if they only have overheated air to breathe, dogs can suffer brain and organ damage after just 15 minutes.” [HSUS]

Please be smart – do not leave your dog in the car unattended with the windows cracked on a hot day. You wouldn’t consider leaving a child, would you?

For more information, and even professional flyers, consider visiting http://www.mydogiscool.com/.

Thanks for listening!


Liz said...

Good for you-hopefully the woman will think twice next time.

I wish it were more like Europe, where dogs are more welcome in shops. I used to walk the dog to the post office, but then I couldn't bring him in. I would tie him up outside, but be worried the entire time that he would get loose or someone would take him. There's no reason a well-behaved dog shouldn't be allowed in places like the post office.

FYI-next earthdog training session is in Gardner July 12th. Also a trial is scheduled for July 26-27 in Brimfield.

Cat, Tessie, & Strata said...

Now one of us needs to do a post on things we -can- do when we have to leave a dog in the car for a few minutes -- shade panels, crate fans, cool water, etc.

And with the popularity of ACs, people often don't realize that the dog that is in a 65-degree house 23 hours a day isn't going to take a 95-degree toasty car as well as a dog that hangs around in an 85-degree house to begin with. (There was a mention of this in CR, where they talked about getting dogs used to heat before trialing in the summer.) I've always credited this with why Tessie does so well (compared to other dogs) in the heat.

I don't understand why people insist on having a "car buddy" when they do errands. I see dogs in cars all the time at the parking lot of the pet store, and many times the owners are not shopping at our store (the only place on the strip where dogs are welcome). I get that many dogs love the car, but if you aren't going somewhere dog-friendly, I don't get it...

OT: The "I"-letter hurricane this year is going to be Ike! Thought I'd let you know. Maybe he'll speed up to tropical storm level?

Jules said...

Liz: I will definately see you on the 12th. I am bringing carmen!

Cat: I agree a post on ways to keep your dog cool would be worthwhile. Hmmm....

And very interesting poitn about dogs getting acclimated to a certain temperature. It makes total sense.

And, I can NOT believe the "I" hurricane is going to be called Ike. I am going to break into storm coverage!! Maybe it is a sign! ;-P