It may seem like it's no big deal to leave your dog in the car for ten minutes while you run into a store, but you wouldn't be thinking that if you were the dog.

No matter how many times you say it, there are still people out there who just don't get it. DO NOT. LEAVE. YOUR DOG. IN A HOT CAR. Even if you have the windows cracked. Even if you're just running in for a few minutes. Did you know that on a 78 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 100-120 degrees in less than ten minutes? And the hotter the outdoor temperature, the hotter the interior temperature. On a 90 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than ten minutes. And it's been found that cracking the windows makes very little difference.

Hundreds of pets die every year because of heatstroke caused by sitting in a hot vehicle, so if you're one of those people saying, "your dog will be FINE," or, "you're overreacting," you are very clearly WRONG. It has, unfortunately, been proven time and time again. Why would you want to risk the life of your pet just to try and prove your point? If you are a loving and responsible pet owner, you would never want your pet to suffer. Leave your animal safely at home if you know you will have to leave the vehicle at some point.

Signs of heatstroke in dogs include restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination. If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, PETA suggests that you "take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. Have the owner paged in the nearest buildings, or call local humane authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog. Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved." 

[Via PETA/AVMA]