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Never leave your dog locked inside when you leave the house for any reason during the summer. Here’s what happened to me…


Barbara "BJ" Andrews, SAAB

July 10, 2024


There was an accident and I was caught in stalled traffic. Worse yet, I was a “witness” and the police had a million questions, notes to make and summons to issue. In all the ruckus it hit me… I left the A/C on at home but… What if the power fails?



At 105F Dogs can suffer heatstroke degrees in less than an hour.


How long can your house pets survive in hot summer temperatures? A million things run through my mind. The police officer isn’t interested in my reason to hurry…


As I wipe sweat from my face, I recall things I’ve read.


If you were freezing you wouldn’t suffer the agony of not being able to “get your breath” as happens when your lungs begin to fail from heat. Our body temperature of 98F gives us a little leeway in hot weather but are you aware that a dog’s temperature is 101 to 102.5 degrees.


That makes panting to cool down ineffective in any situation over 100F especially if the dog is where he can’t dig down into cooler earth. The cop is through writing, hands me the copy, I thank him and leave.


But as they wave me though the intersection I’m still thinking about the heat wave, the animals that are out there suffering…


All living things, from primitive plants to highly evolved mammals, suffer and die under extreme temperatures. The wreck still on my mind, I think … lots of reasons anyone could be late getting home, from car trouble to road blockage. Or having to sign all those police papers…!



Police are all busy back there so I put pedal to the metal and hurry home! All is well. My dogs meet me at the door, wagging, panting from joy at my arrival, not heat. Whew!


I stash the cold stuff, let them out and go to the computer. Gotta write this down NOW. I didn’t expect to be gone so long… but it happens too frequently, to all animal owners. You think you’ll be right back.


Subconsciously I note the A/C clicked on. Yes, smiling to myself. Heat is terrible.


Outside in nature, snakes, lizards and worms, with their long slender bodies, can burrow down into cooler earth and are thus better able to compensate. That is exactly why your dogs digs holes in your carefully manicured yard. Hmm.


Offbeat note: Within a given species, animals tend to be larger in colder climates and smaller in warmer climates, an observation known as Bergmann's rule. Your dog, whether Great Dane or Chihuahua, has a body temperature of 101 to 102 degrees. Has anyone ever compared body temperature in different breeds, like St. Bernards as opposed to Chihuahuas?


Speaking of high temperatures, the world’s highest registered air temperature is 134.1F, recorded July 10, 1913 at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, CA.


So whether you live in North Dakota or Texas and whether you have a tiny lap dog or a giant breed, let us know on our facebook page how you and your dog are dealing with this record-breaking heat! EST 2002 Jul 2024



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DOG DAYS OF SUMMER = HEAT STRESS - Dogs chained to dog houses have no weather protection and live in misery.  No wonder they call July-August dog days. No matter the season. dogs deserve better.

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