By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With summer’s intense heat, we must keep in mind the safety of our companion animals. It’s extremely important to be aware that the soaring temperature inside a parked car on even just a warm day can kill a pet in a matter of minutes let alone on an intensely hot day.  It’s truly deceptive to think that any open windows can help. Consider this: studies have proven that even when the temperature is a comfortable 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can soar to 108 degrees in just minutes and will continue to rise. And that’s with the windows open and the car parked in the shade. Imagine how much more intense the temperature climbs on an 80 or 90 degree day! They cannot cool themselves down the way people can.

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On hot days, extremely dangerous temperatures can be reached within just minutes of closing the car doors, even if the windows are cracked and if the air conditioning had been previously running.  Results are serious and can range from convulsions, to coma and death. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Never leave your pets alone in a parked car on a hot or even a warm day.  If they must travel with you, never leave them alone; take them out of the car with you at all times when the car is turned off or have someone stay with them in the car with the air turned fully on until you return. But the best idea is to leave them at home in comfortable temperatures as you run your errands in warm weather.

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