To keep with the hot trend, lets talk about hot cars and pets. It is all too familiar that pets can be injured or die in hot cars and this is something that can be avoided. I can say that I have let my dog in the car for a short time while I have ran in somewhere (with the AC on) and I haven’t really thought about what could happen in that time.
Even if it isn’t “that hot” outside, which when isn’t it in Charleston, the temperature inside the car can rise quickly. One study (by the AVMA) suggests that in 10 minutes the temperature raises by 19°F and in 60 minutes it increased by 43°F. This means that even a short run inside somewhere can turn deadly quickly. It also found that a cracked window had little effect and parking in the shade did little as well.
Pets can suffer heat stroke in a short amount of time (15 minutes) and it can be fatal if not treated properly and in a timely manner. Pets can also have permanent damage if they survive the ordeal. The best advice is to leave the pet at home, if they cannot come inside with you.
Leaving the AC on in the car is not always the best option either, a lot of unknowns can happen. These include: the pet turning off the AC, the car stalling or shutting off, or any other issue with the AC malfunctioning. The pet could also injure itself in the car, rolling down a window and escaping, getting caught on something, or any other accident may happen.
While it is fun to take your pet with you around the low country, it may not always be the safest option. If in doubt always lean towards leaving them at home and finding other ways to enjoy each other’s company (see other blog about activities to do with you dog in Charleston). Be smart and always think that something may happen.