Pets provide comfort and companionship, but as the weather warms your vehicle can be unsafe or even deadly for them. Hundreds of pets die around the country each year from being left in vehicles in dangerous temperatures.
Summer officially began Sunday, June 20th, and temperatures in the Yakima area are expected to top 100 degrees by the end of this week.
However, even on an 85-degree day, leaving your pet in a vehicle for just seven minutes exposes them to temperatures reaching 100 degrees. After 30 minutes, the interior of your vehicle reaches 120 degrees.
Windows cracked open don’t make a difference. Studies have shown that even when vehicle windows are left open the temperature in a vehicle can reach dangerous levels.
The City of Yakima’s Code Enforcement Office reminds the community that those who leave their pets in a vehicle in dangerous temperatures are subject to a $500 fine per pet.
Yakima Municipal Code (YMC) 6.30.190 states, “It is unlawful for any person to leave any animal confined within or on a motor vehicle at any location under such conditions as may endanger the health or well-being of the animal, including without limitation conditions involving dangerous temperature, lack of food, water or attention.”
Other tips to keep your pets safe during hot weather include:
- Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
- Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.
- When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly. Sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
- If a pet is overheated, the goal is to cool down the animal’s core body temperature gradually. The animal needs to be drenched in water but not in ice or cold water, which may make the animal go into shock.
Visit https://www.yakimawa.gov/services/animal-control/ for more about animal control services in the City of Yakima. The Animal Control Complaint Hotline is 575-6038.
Visit Hot Weather Safety Tips | ASPCA for more hot weather safety tips for pets.