Tips to keep pets safe during summer weather - WSMV Channel 4

Tips to keep pets safe during summer weather

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Pets traveling in cars are placed at an extreme risk as temperatures get warmer in the summer.

More people are leaving their pets in the car with a window cracked as they run inside stores while doing errands or shopping.

Metro Animal Control is serious about the danger that creates for pets.

"I can't count how many times we've been out on calls where animals are left in cars," said Metro Animal Control officer Billy Biggs.

A Portuguese water dog came to Belmont Animal Hospital this morning with an upset stomach, something that can easily be treated.

But these days Dr. Malcolm Sewell is seeing more and more cases of something more serious.

"We saw a dog that came in dead," said Sewell.

It seems cases of heat exhaustion in dogs are on the rise this year. The reason: owners are leaving their dogs in hot cars.

"Dogs don't perspire like we do, so they're going to be hotter than we're going to be," said Sewell. "Really, 70, 75 degrees is too hot to leave a dog in the car, even with the windows cracked."

Metro Animal Control responded to seven calls on Wednesday.

"The past couple of weeks, I can't count how many calls where animals are left in cars," said Biggs.

Two weeks ago Metro police arrested Hayli Schnebelen after they said she left two dogs inside the car while she and her friends shopped at Opry Mills.

"We checked the temp inside the vehicle, which was 142 degrees," said Biggs. "If nobody had seen them dogs, she would have come back to two dead dogs, there's no doubt in my mind."

Earlier today, it was 82 degrees outside, but it was 98 degrees inside the car, and the sun wasn't out.

"That's not going to work," said Biggs. "Your dogs are going to have a heat stroke or die."

Signs of heat exhaustion or stroke include extreme fatigue, imbalance and, in some cases, seizures.

Even playing fetch outside on a hot summer day can prove to be too much for your pooch.

Biggs offers simple advice on how to keep your pet safe.

"Leave your dog at home and use common sense," said Biggs.

The temperature will increase quickly with the sun shining through the windshield and windows.

If it's 75 degrees outside, the car temperature can reach 100. On 100 degree days, the car's interior can top 140.

Even outside the car, pets don't always know when they've had too much.

Owners should limit exercise in the hottest parts of the day and keep their pets in the shade.

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