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Not the hot dog pet owners should want during Labor Day weekend

Local veterinarian shares ways to protect dogs from record-setting holiday heat
Posted at 5:00 PM, Sep 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-04 10:33:46-04
  • This Labor Day weekend could see highs reaching the mid-to-upper 90s making it one of the hottest weekends of the year. One local veterinarian provides tips for taking take of your dogs if you plan to bring them on the road
  • Rolling down the window is not enough. Dr. John Barnstoff said proper hydration and parking in shaded areas are two ways to prevent serious health problems in dogs. Not leaving them in the car should be the number one option.
  • De Pere resident, Kristin Trochta, recalls her experiences of saving a dog that was in a locked car in a Walmart Parking lot.
  • Wisconsin's Good Samaritan Law allows for bystanders to save a person or animal that could be in danger. Police remind people that you must alert law enforcement prior to stepping in to help.
  • If you see a person or pet of any kind in a locked vehicle, Police encourage people to call the Brown County non-emergency line: 920-391-7450

"If you're uncomfortable then chances are your dog is uncomfortable too," Dr. John Barnstoff, Veterinarian and owner of De Pere Animal Hospital, said.
Kristen Trochta witnessed it first-hand when she spotted a dog in a locked car in late spring 2023.

"I stopped to Walmart after work like I usually do and I happened to come across the dog in the car," Trotcha said. "Within 15 to 20 minutes after I noticed the dog in the car. The customer, the owner of the car, came out of Walmart and started discussing the situation with the police officers and myself."

Video shows reporter Andrew Amouzou testing how quickly the inside of a car heats up. At the time of the recording, it was 12:30 p.m. on Friday. The high temperature for De Pere was in the low 80s.

The thermometer was left in the car for 15 minutes. Even with a high of around 80 degrees, the temperature reached more than 100 degrees.

"The dogs have to be able to pant to get rid of a lot of heat," Barnstoff said. "If they are not really getting cooler air in than what they are putting out, they're probably not going to lose a lot of heat either."

Barnstoff said excessive heat can result in seizures and possible heart problems.