We are a mother and daughter team that hang together, shop together and we see lots of dogs left in cars. Cars with domestic animals are parked in the direct sunlight at strip malls, lifestyle centers and malls in the New England area (and of course, across the country). We KNOW that DOG OWNERS LOVE THEIR DOGS SO MUCH, they just can't leave them at home "ALONE!" Taking them for a "quick" trip to the mall is the last thing you should do, really!! You probably say to yourself, "I will only be in the store for 5 minutes", then before you know it, your dog may be in a hot car for up to 30 minutes and sometimes longer.
Our aim is to gather as much information on this topic/issue for all and then share it, so that you are aware of the dangers. We want to stop this issue of dogs failing and dying in your car or at the veterinary hospital. We will continue to add new info, so that we can all BECOOL and KEEP OUR DOGS COOL. Please help us do that......spread the "BECOOLDOG" word.
The first sticker produced was a graphic interpretation of a mutt! He was adorable and belonged to our graphic designer. This batch of stickers were delivered to several veterinary clinics in NH and MASS. We also place these stickers on cars in lots when we see a dog inside. We're hoping to quietly, kindly spread the word of how your dog can BE MORE COOL!
The second sticker was a graphic interpretation of a dog named Bandit, who resides on the coast of NH. All stickers are given away, and sometimes at veterinary clinics request that a small donation be given to the hospitals rescue fund.
See images below of stickers and cool dogs!
1Q: What do you tell your patients about dogs in the hot months during the year?
A: We always tell our clients to keep their dogs inside if its over 80 degrees, particularly if they are breeds who don't breathe normally and get over heated quickly like bulldogs, pugs etc. These breeds are called brachycephalic (short headed dogs). It is life threatening for them to be out in the heat of the summer. They cannot effectively cool themselves down by panting like some other breeds can. With that said, any breed of dog, can die from the heat of the spring and summer particularly if they are trapped in cars!
2Q: How does the heat from the car affect the dog?
A: Dogs' normal temperature is anywhere from 100.5 to 102.5. Being in a car that may be 80-100 degrees can cause irreversible damage to the internal organs and cause death.
3Q: What system of the dogs body does the heat affect, and does this trigger the dog to have seizures?
A: The heat can affect all body organs and can trigger seizure activity in the brain if the patients' temperature gets above 109F degrees. The organs cannot function and if overheated. Automatically, in the heat, a pet will start to try to cool down by panting, drooling, and blood vessel dilation. When the blood vessels dilate, it causes the heart to work faster, which makes blood pool in the organs and blood pressure drop. A drop in blood pressure compromises all the organs and coupled with the thermal damage, leads to bloody diarrhea and vomiting, kidney damage, and brain damage from blood clots. After the body temperature gets to 109F, coma and death may occur.
4Q: On average how many dogs need treatment in the summer due to overheating in the car?
A: Thankfully because veterinary professionals talk about the dangers of pets being in hot cars, the numbers have drastically reduced over the past several years but many dogs still die as a result of heat exposure in cars. It's completely preventable which makes it more of a tragedy.
5Q: People leave bowls of water in the car OR leave the windows open in slight cracks. Does this help at all?
A: Water and open windows do not help at all. The temperature in the car can rise 2 degrees per minute.
6Q: How do you treat the patients that come in with problems due to being left in a car?
A: When pets come into the hospital in this crisis, it is an emergency, life threatening situation and "all hands are on deck" to work tirelessly to save the pet. The Veterinarian quickly and efficiently addresses the body temperature and the irreversible damage to the organs by placing the pet in a cool water bath to slowly drop the pets' temperature (dropping it too fast is damaging too). An intravenous catheter is placed in one or two limbs to deliver room temperature fluids to hydrate and cool the patient down. Other medications are delivered intravenously to address organ damage, infection, bleeding, inflammation. The patient stays in the hospital until the temperature is normal and the organ function is restored if possible.
7Q: Do you think that leaving your dog in the car should be illegal in all states?
A: Yes, definitely illegal!! Some states have stricter laws and people could be fines and arrested. Massachusetts is working for stricter laws related to animal abuse.
They might make our website!