Dog days of summer can be deadly

Print Article

LOREN BENOIT/Press file Chelsea Cosgrove and David Espen administer a vaccine to a dog during an appointment at the Kootenai Humane Society.

The difference between life and death can be just a few minutes.

Experts advise pet owners never to leave an animal in a parked car — not even for a minute, not even with the windows open, not even with the air-conditioner running.

Animal control officers can issue a $50 citation to pet owners for leaving an animal in a hot car. Under Idaho code, it can also be a misdemeanor offense.

“Our No. 1 call in the summer is dogs left in cars,” Kootenai County Animal Control officer Colton Grytness said.

On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 100 degrees in just 10 minutes, according to research published by San Jose State University. Pets can suffer brain damage or die from heat stroke or suffocation.

“If the sun’s hitting the car, it can warm up quick,” Grytness said.

Signs of heat stroke in dogs include heavy panting, excessive drooling, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness or staggering, bloody vomit or bloody diarrhea, nose bleeds, a deep red or purple tongue and bleeding gums, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

If a dog exhibits signs of heat stroke, seek veterinary care as soon as possible, even if the dog appears to be improving. Call ahead of your arrival if possible.

In the meantime, the Humane Society recommends moving the dog to a cooler area. Gradually lower the dog’s body temperature by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck and around the armpits, paws, ear flaps and groin. Alternatively, sprinkle cool but not cold water over the dog.

Offer cool water if the dog is alert and wants to drink, but do not force the dog to drink.

High humidity makes it hard for dogs to cool themselves through panting, which can cause their body temperatures to rise to dangerous levels. A dog’s temperature should not get higher than 104 degrees, according to the Humane Society. If it does, the dog should be treated for heat stroke.

Grytness said people should feel free to contact animal control if they see an animal in distress or if they’re unsure whether or not an animal in a parked car is all right. Animal control officers will come to the scene and determine what action (if any) should be taken, as well as cite or educate the pet owner as necessary.

“If it’s in distress, we’re going to do what we can to get it out of there,” he said.

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office: 208-446-1300

Print Article

Read More Local News

County: No vote on corridor

February 25, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners decided Monday not to ask voters what they think of the Health Corridor urban renewal district created last December by the Coeur d’Alene City Council. Wha...


Read More

Tubbs tree mystery solved

February 25, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — Downed trees on Tubbs Hill have raised alarms with some citizens. “The trees appear to be diseased,” one resident wrote to The Press, “but I am not an expert in that field. It was s...


Read More

Hayden tells Correction re-entry center unwanted

February 25, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press HAYDEN — The city of Hayden has voiced an objection to having a state prison re-entry facility in Hayden. In a letter sent last week to Idaho Department of Correction, City Administrator Brett Boyer...


Read More

Lawmaker ‘surprised’ Boise Planned Parenthood ‘hasn’t been nuked’

February 25, 2020 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A local legislator in the Idaho House said Saturday he didn’t know why a Planned Parenthood in Boise hasn’t been “nuked.” Vito Barbieri, the District 2 Seat A representative from Dalton Gardens, mad...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2020 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy