Summer is here, and along with high temperatures outside come even higher temperatures in your car. It is time to consider if your pet should stay at home while you run errands. Many people think a dog is safe in a car with the windows cracked, but that is not the case. When temperatures reach 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar up to 102 degrees within 10 minutes. Within 30 minutes temperatures may rise to 120 degrees. Even if you are making a quick trip to the grocery story, it still may be too long for your dog to endure the heat. Dogs do not sweat like humans. They must rely on panting to cool down and therefore their body temperatures tend to rise rapidly. A dog’s normal temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only endure a high temperature for a short amount of time before damage from overheating becomes irreversible. Health problems caused by overheating include nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage and even death - sometimes in a matter of minutes. These are some signs a dog may be over heating: • Excessive panting • Excessive drooling • Increased heart rate • Trouble breathing • Disorientation, stumbling or poor coordination • Diarrhea or vomiting • Collapse or loss of consciousness • Seizure • Respiratory arrest For your pet’s sake, leave them at home. It’s better to have your dog in a safe, cool place than to risk your pet’s health and well-being in an overheated car. If you see a dog in a hot car, please call Collier County Domestic Animal Services at (239) 252-7387, or the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 252-9300 immediately. For more information, call Daniel Christenbury, Public Information Coordinator, at (239) 252-6956.