Summer’s Here, Mind Your Pets In Hot Cars and Thunderstorms
By Rebecca Stroud // May 26, 2015
leave your pets at home in the air-conditioning
The Animal Advocate, By Rebecca Stroud
ABOVE VIDEO: All too often, dogs are seen sitting in a vehicle on a sweltering day, panting their brains out. Just because the windows are cracked, don’t ever think the dog is cool enough as that so-called ventilation is nothing more than hot air accumulating inside and can quickly cause deadly heatstroke.
Yes, I know it’s only May but – here in Florida – the intense heat and humidity have already begun their upward climb. So I’m going to address two major issues here: leaving animals in hot cars and thunderstorms.
All too often, dogs are seen sitting in a vehicle on a sweltering day, panting their brains out. Just because the windows are cracked, don’t ever think the dog is cool enough as that so-called ventilation is nothing more than hot air accumulating inside and can quickly cause deadly heatstroke.
In addition, if you ever witness this situation, seek help for the animal immediately by calling the police, notifying a store manager, or even removing the dog from that oven by whatever means it takes (needless to say, the same goes for small children).
Bottom line, don’t play Russian roulette…you may think you’re only going to ‘run into the store for a minute’ but that does not mean you won’t find a very sick – or dead – dog when you get back to the car. Do everyone a favor and leave your pets at home in the air-conditioning.
As for thunderstorms: With the glut of information disseminated about the effect fireworks has on pets, you’d think most people would realize that – especially for dogs and cats – a Florida summer day can be just as stressful because crackling afternoon noisemakers occur more often than not.
So why do some insist on leaving their pets alone outside when a major storm is approaching? I understand that Florida’s summer squalls can come on quickly, with scant warning to us humans.
However, with their superior sense of hearing and smell, animals know long before we do that a weather disturbance is approaching and try to seek shelter accordingly.
And if that means busting out of the yard to find safe haven, they’ll do it in a heartbeat. As a result, they’ll dig/jump/climb…anything to escape.
Admittedly, not all pets are afraid of thunder and lightning, yet who among us would want to be totally exposed to the treacherous elements of a bad storm?
Honestly, I don’t believe any pet should ever be left outside for extended periods without easy access at all times to the inside of the house or screened porch, whatever the weather.
So I repeat: Dogs and cats are dependent on us for every little thing; they are meant to be members of the family. Ergo, would you leave your kids unattended in a sweltering car or out in the yard during a mini-tropical storm, even for a few minutes?
I hope to God no one answers “yes” to that question…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Stroud is a former newspaper reporter and columnist. She is now an independent author who has published numerous books and stories, including The Killing Sands, Murder 9.0, Dragon’s Moon, Devil’s Moon, Do Unto Others, The Animal Advocate, A Three-Dog Night, Zellwood: A Dog Story and Jinxed.
In addition to writing, Stroud is an editor and avid animal lover. She lives in Cocoa with her husband and their adored catahoula-boxer mix.
To contact Stroud, e-mail RebeccaStroud@aol.com