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A few years back, in a show of solidarity with man’s best friend, football star Tyrann Mathieu climbed into a car to find out what it’s like for dogs when someone leaves them locked inside for an extended period of time. What he found out is nothing short of stroke inducing…

Tyrann Mathieu sweats to save dogs
This is what an athlete at peak physical condition looks like after a little while trapped in a car. Imagine what it looks like for a dog covered in fur. Mathieu

It only took a few minutes for the temperature in the car to rise to over one hundred degrees. And with sweat pouring (a luxury dogs don’t have) and his head spinning he couldn’t take it anymore and bailed out. Which leads to the question – if a highly trained athlete can’t take the heat, why would people think a pup can?

The temperature in a car can soar in the time it takes to run inside a grocery store and pick up a few items. This article from the American Veterinary Medical Association found that temperatures in a car can go from 80 to 99 degrees in just 10 minutes.

Temperature chart

It has been over 5 years since Mathieu’s demonstration went viral, yet there are still many out there who do not understand the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars. Peta has found that 109 dogs have died in car heat related incidents since 2018. Put another way, that’s about one dog a week left by their owners to die, and that’s not accounting for any deaths or near deaths that owners might have hidden.

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Everyone reading this has likely seen a dog stranded inside a car in a parking lot. The Humane Society has compiled a list of things you can do to help the animal.

“If you’re going to make a dog a part of your family, then make him a part of your family,” Mathieu said. “Don’t treat him like you wouldn’t treat someone you cared about or someone you loved.” And he’s not the only one who feels this way. 

Dog in car. iStock

In response to the epidemic of people leaving animals in cars nineteen states have put laws on the books against leaving pets in locked cars. Some of these laws carry jail time if the result is an animal death or injury, and rightly so. 

From Alaskan Malamutes to Yorkshire terriers we all need to be a little more considerate when we bring our furry friends along for the ride, even if it’s just seemingly for “a quick run to the grocery store.”

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