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State Veterinarian Statement on Pets and Hot Vehicles

Never leave pets alone in a parked vehicle, especially in warm weather

LANSING, MI – Today, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM, released the following statement due to extreme high temperatures throughout Michigan.

"As we experience high temperatures across the state, it's critical for Michiganders to take action to protect their pets," said Dr. Wineland. "Generally, even when temperatures feel mild and comfortable to people, vehicles can heat up quickly, putting pets at significant risk. If a car is left running with the air conditioning on, pets can still overheat if they are in direct sunlight and cannot move away to cool themselves. Opening a window or parking in the shade won't make the situation any safer. The best location for pets to be if you are not taking them to your destination is at home.”

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the temperature inside of a vehicle can rise almost 20˚F in just 10 minutes and almost 30˚F in 20 minutes. The longer a vehicle is parked, the higher the temperature will get. Excessive temperatures can lead to heat stroke or even death in pets.

While it may be tempting to bring pets along with us, keep them cool and safe by leaving them at home.

For more information on pets in vehicles and safely traveling with pets, please visit the AVMA’s website.


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