Summer is finally here in New England and we think this is a good time to remind all pet owners not to leave Fido and Fluffy in the car on a hot summer day!

Sadly, hundreds of pets die annually from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles. I think it’s safe to assume all pet owners have good intentions when they leave their pet unattended for “just a few minutes while I go in the store.” Unfortunately, even with windows cracked studies show the temperature in your car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes. Within 20 minutes, temps can rise almost 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The longer you wait the higher the temperature goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. To put that in perspective, a 70 degree day can quickly become 110 degrees inside your vehicle!

These temperatures put your pet at risk of serious illness and often times death, even on a day that doesn’t seem very hot to you and I.

A study performed by the Louisiana Office of Public Health, found that the temperatures in a dark sedan as well as a light gray minivan parked on a hot, but partly cloudy day, exceeded 125 degrees within 20 minutes!

Elapsed Time Outside Air Temperature(F)
70 75 80 85 90 95
0 minutes 70 75 80 85 90 95
10 minutes 89 94 99 104 109 114
20 minutes 99 104 109 114 119 124
30 minutes 104 109 114 119 124 129
40 minutes 108 113 118 123 128 133
50 minutes 111 116 121 126 131 136
60 minutes 113 118 123 128 133 138
> 1 hour 115 120 125 130 135 140

Courtesy Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University

In addition, this same study found that cracking the windows had very little effect on the temperature rise inside the vehicle.

Everyone who knows me, appreciates that I’m a huge fan of having my own dog Fletch come everywhere with me in the car. He is truly my best buddy and co-pilot! Nevertheless, once the temps start to rise I prescribe to a love ‘em and leave ‘em philosophy. When it’s time to leave the house to run errands, I give Fletch a big kiss on the nose and leave him home to stay cool!