Summer is here and there are a few important things to remember about the temperature outside and the safety of your pet. Do not leave your dog or cat in a car during the spring or summer months. The temperature inside a car can become dangerously hot and can cause heat stroke. Heat stroke is a potentially fatal condition in which a pet’s body temperature is so high they cannot decrease it by panting. The consequences of a severely increased body temperature include kidney failure, respiratory failure and very often, death. Here are some facts to keep in mind: – When the outside temperature is 85 degrees, it takes 10 minutes for the inside of a car to reach 102 degrees (even when the windows have been opened an inch or two) – Within 30 minutes, a car’s inside temperature can reach 120 degrees – Pets that are more prone to even small increases in temperature are young, old and overweight animals, those pets with short noses (Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, and Boxers) and/or thick, dark coats and older dogs with laryngeal paralysis (paralysis of one side of the opening to the wind pipe causing a very hoarse panting sound). Signs of heat stroke in dogs include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, dizziness, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea after being exposed to excessive heat. The dog should be immediately cooled by placing cool (not ice cold) water over its entire body and taken a veterinarian. The best way to prevent heat stroke is to leave your pet at home!