We all love to venture out when the weather picks up and we’ve got some spare time on our hands, but it’s shocking that people are still putting their dogs lives in serious danger or worse – killing them.
While there doesn’t seem to be any official statistics available, every year too many suffer from heatstroke because they have been left locked inside a car. As summer kicks in, the local and national media are swamped with reports of incidents where dogs have been rescued from hot vehicles, or even worse, have died due to a simple and completely avoidable mistake by their owners. And the weekly news and Facebook posts tell us how to act if we see distressed dogs left in hot vehicles.
The problem is people think it is ok if they are only ‘popping to the shop’, or are ‘not going to be long’, or that leaving a window open will make it ok. This is not correct, the temperature inside a car can more than double the outside temperature almost instantaneously.
Shockingly, some people even think it’s ok to leave their dogs in the car all day while they are at work, as long as they let them out every now and then – it isn’t, it is very dangerous!
The Steak Experiment
At The Canine Directory, we wanted to try something different to drive home the message that this must stop.
Most people understand the dangers that heatstroke poses to animals, but there are still too many people putting their dogs lives and health at risk. The fact that this is still happening to poor, innocent dogs is shocking and unbearable, so we thought we’d try an experiment.
If we can demonstrate what happens to a raw steak when subjected to the heat of a car, maybe, just maybe, these people will take notice and stop putting their dogs through this, and if it helps save just one dog’s life, it will be well worth it!
So, armed with a 250g rump steak from the supermarket, we put it on a baking tray, set up the camera to record the changes and placed it on the dashboard; the temperature outside was 27.5°C.
After taking a couple of minutes to set up the camera in the car, the temperature had already soared to more than twice the outside temperature, recording nearly 60°C on the thermometer, and sitting in the car just for those couple of minutes was seriously uncomfortable.
So after nearly an hour, we went out to check what state the steak was in. The difference really was quite shocking, the footage in our video shows the structural changes over this short period of time; perhaps the length of time these people take to ‘just do their shopping’ or ‘pop into work’.
The clear and simple fact is, that you cannot and should not leave your dog in a hot car for any amount of time, even just a few minutes can be fatal.
As humans, the first thing we do when we get into a hot car is to turn on the air conditioning – great, we cool down nice and quickly. So why do people still think that dogs deserve to be subjected to such cruel hot conditions when they already have a fur coat to contend with?
The answer is simple, don’t take your dog out anywhere if it is too hot. Don’t walk them on hot pavements if you can’t bear the heat on your own bare feet. Don’t leave them outside where they can’t access safe levels of shade and cold water. And don’t, whatever you do, leave them in a hot car.
Our video demonstrates the effect heat has on the steak, and while we wouldn’t suggest it’s fit for human consumption, it is definitely impactful.
To test what happens, for those who are left in cars for longer periods, we decided to leave the steak in even longer. The image below shows what it looked like once we’d brought it out of the car after three hours.
Thankfully for the steak, it was already dead – how long until the next poor dog is? DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS, DON’T TAKE THE RISK!