Your dog or cat is naturally warmer than you since their normal temperature is approximately 101 to 102 degrees. They also lack some of your ability to cool yourself when overheated. Dogs dissipate heat from their body through their lungs and respiratory tract. That is why they pant when they are hot.

This poor cooling mechanism, coupled with a fur coat, can be a deadly combination. Being locked in a car can cost your pet’s life. Within minutes, the body temperature can reach 109 degrees, the point of internal organ failure.

An all too common scenario at our emergency hospital is a frantic client rushing in carrying a nearly comatose pet.

“I was only in the grocery store a few minutes. I was sure he would be okay in the car. When I came out, he was gasping for breath and the seat was covered with drool. Can you save him?”

Sadly, the answer is sometimes “no”. Despite the owner’s best intentions and our best efforts, many animals in western North Carolina die from heat stroke after being left in a locked car.

The threat is real and the solution is easy. Don’t leave your pet in the car during warm weather.