Parked Car Heat Test By Vet Shows What Dogs Trapped In Hot Cars Endure [Video]

Elaine Radford

Don't leave dogs and other pets trapped in a parked car during summer's heat. As the summer travel reason gears up for the July Fourth weekend, it's worth asking yourself if you really want to travel by car with your pet.

To demonstration how fast a parked car can heat up to a deadly temperature capable of killing dogs and other pets, veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward actually filmed a new YouTube video locked in the hot car himself.

Since too many people think it's probably OK if they leave the windows cracked, Dr. Ward also left his windows cracked a couple of inches.

As you'll see in this agonizing footage, it doesn't much matter. In the course of the video, the car acts like a solar oven which traps the summer heat -- causing the already-high temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit to soar to a dangerous 117 degrees.

It's painful to watch a healthy human being undergo this torture. The man is soaked in sweat within minutes.

And, as he reminds us, dogs can't sweat to release heat. They can only pant.

My advice as a long-time pet writer? Think two or three times before you undergo nonessential travel with a pet in this heat.

Of course, it's also hurricane season, and I realize that sometimes you have to travel with your animals whether you like it or not.

Here are some quick hurricane evacuation tips I use for traveling with my birds so that they aren't left alone in parked cars in killing heat:

*You can often see a tropical storm system brewing in advance. When possible, I try to schedule my evacuation driving for after dark.

*If possible have a second person traveling with you so that you can leave not just windows cracked but the doors open to create a breeze while the other person takes bathroom breaks or fetches food.

*Start the trip with plenty of ice and cold water in your coolers. Water may get sloshed during your travel, so stop frequently at rest stops to share the cool water with your pets -- and drink plenty yourself.

Remember, a parked car's heat isn't just dangerous to animals but to humans too.

[still photo dog trapped in car by Kennedy Kab via Flickr, Creative Commons]