It only takes minutes… We understand you meant to be kind by taking your dog with you, but you could be risking his or her life. On hot – or even warm – sunny days, the inside of a car heats up very quickly. The temperature inside a car can climb to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and can rapidly rise to 160 degrees.

A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5 to 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit. A dog can withstand a body temperature of 106 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage – or even death. The extreme heat of a sealed, hot car interferes with a dog’s normal cooling: evaporation through panting.

If your dog begins showing signs of heat exhaustion, including excessive panting and lethargy, immediately cover the animal with a cool, wet towel until the body temperature lowers, keep the animal’s feet cool and moist, give your pet small amounts of water to drink and consult with a veterinarian immediately to determine if additional treatment is needed.

Citizens concerned about unsupervised animals left in hot cars should call the City of Boulder Police Dispatch line at (303) 441-3333.