The issue may be that many people simply do not grasp the extremity of the heat and the speed at which life-threatening temperatures can be reached in a parked vehicle.
One Imgur user decided to create a visual demonstration of the phenomenon using an egg and a frying pan.
The first image shows a cracked egg in a frying pan on the front seat of a car parked in the sunlight. A thermometer stands next to it so that the temperature can be tracked.
The subsequent three photos show the egg white begin to turn flaky and more opaque before finally hardening into the solid white we associate with an over-easy fried egg. The yoke appears desiccated and dented.
It took less than two hours for the egg to go from completely raw to dry and cooked. The temperature within the car reads 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most shocking part? On a beautiful 75 degree afternoon it takes only 30 minutes to reach 120 degrees within your car! Hot enough to fry an egg – or kill your dog.
Just because it feels comfortable outside, does not mean your dog is safe inside your vehicle – even with the windows cracked. The glass windows on all sides cause a greenhouse effect. Dogs are only able to release excess heat through panting and minimal sweating through their paw pads, but it is not enough to save them in extreme temperatures.
Brachycephalic (squishy-faced) breeds like Pugs, Shih Tzus and Bulldogs are at an even higher risk for heatstroke.
Veterinarian, Dr. Marie Haynes of askavetquestion.com, created the following infographic that details exactly what happens to a dog when they are left in a hot car.
As a former veterinary technician living in the South, I have seen several dogs suffer the effects of heat stroke. It is terrifying, heartbreaking, and even the dog survives, there can be lasting brain and organ damage.
Be safe, not sorry – leave your pooch at home!