Do You Know How Hot A Parked Car Really Gets?

hot carBy and large, most pet owners adore their pets and would never do anything to deliberately harm them. However, there are plenty of pet owners who unknowingly risk the health of their pets by leaving them in parked cars.

While they aren’t intentionally trying to make their pets uncomfortable, there appears to be a misconception out there about how hot parked cars actually get. For that reason, we’d like to educate you on the topic, as well as give you some suggestions for what you should do if you see a pet left in a parked car.

How Hot Does A Parked Car Get?

Think of a parked car as much like a greenhouse. In both cases, the sun heats up trapped air beneath glass. This process doesn’t take long and within 10 minutes, the temperature inside a parked car on a 70-degree day can rise to 89 degrees. On an 85-degree day, it can reach 104 degrees.

While many people assume that cracking the car windows prevents the temperature from rapidly rising, research has found that isn’t the case. Cracked windows have very little effect on the interior temperature of a car.

When Should I Avoid Leaving My Pet in the Car?

As a general guideline, you never want to leave your pet in the car if the temperature is 70 degrees or higher—and this applies even if you park in the shade, leave the windows cracked, or only plan to run an errand for a few minutes.

While there are no statistics about how many dogs and cats die in parked cars each year, we do know that children have died from being left in parked cars when weather was merely in the low 70s. For this reason, if you’re uncertain whether your pet can comfortably remain in the car while you run an errand, we urge you to err on the side of caution.

What Should I Do If I See a Pet Left in a Parked Car?

If you see a pet left in a parked car, the Humane Society advises you to do the following:

  • Write down the car’s make, model, and license plate number.
  • Alert nearby businesses to see if the owner can be found. Many pet owners don’t realize the risk and will return immediately to their car if they’re located.
  • If the pet owner can’t be found, contact your local police department’s non-emergency number and remain by the car until help arrives.

By following these simple guidelines, you can keep pets in parked cars safe and healthy. And speaking of healthy pets, is your Fido or Princess due for a checkup? If so, we encourage you to make an appointment.

To do so, please contact our Columbus office by calling 614.268.8666 during normal business hours. For your convenience, we’re open until 6:30 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; 7:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 3:30 on Saturdays.