If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably been in the following scenario at one point or another: it’s a Sunday afternoon, and you’re in the middle of a whirlwind of errands. You just took your dog by the vet for a quick checkup and still have to swing by the grocery store, get your nails done, and make it home for family dinner. As you pull into the grocery-store parking lot, you vow to make your trip quick because you’ll be leaving your pup in the car – with the windows cracked, of course. Seems innocent, right?
Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian and self-proclaimed pet advocate, is certainly familiar with the aforementioned situation. But Ward has made it his personal mission to ensure that dog owners know that while it may seem like an innocent thing to do, leaving an animal in a parked car on a steamy Summer day is actually incredibly dangerous. To demonstrate this, Ward decided to videotape himself sitting in a parked vehicle to see just how hot it would get inside over time. Spoiler alert: it got really hot, really fast.
Though the outdoor temperature was 95 degrees, the inside of the car reached a staggering 117 degrees during the 30 minutes Dr. Ward was inside. While he could see that it was breezy outdoors by observing the swaying trees, Ward said he couldn’t feel any breeze in the car despite the slightly cracked windows, and it provided no relief from the quickly rising temperature. The vet explained how “helpless and frightening” a situation like the one he was in would feel for a dog left in the car. “Everything in my body is saying ‘get out, get out, get out,'” he said.
Oh, and let’s not forget the sweat factor. “I can just feel rivulets of sweat careening down my body . . . and I can do that; a dog can’t. A dog can’t perspire,” Ward said. The fact that dogs are unable to sweat is what makes it so hazardous – and potentially fatal – to abandon one in a parked car when it’s hot out. “You can make all the excuses you want. You can say, ‘It’ll just be for a second, and I’m gonna leave the windows cracked . . . but those excuses are meaningless unless you’ve sat in that car during that same time.”
Watch the video ahead to hear what else Dr. Ward has to say about this hot (pun semi-intended) topic.