Last week, 98.9 The Goat morning man Tymo dressed himself in a “dog suit” and locked himself in a car with no ventilation to prove a point.
He lasted 42 minutes, before paramedic Ben Douglas put an end to the stunt.
Get the point?
The point is, pets don’t have paramedics. They rely on their owners’ common sense when it comes to their well-being; and common sense says to leave your pet at home.
“I’ve drank about 45 gallons of water over the past few days, but I am feeling much better now, thank you,” Tymo said, four days after the stunt. “He (Douglas) took my pulse and checked my pupils, and didn’t even bother taking my core temperature, the pulse freaked him out so much.
“Within five seconds he had me stripped down, practically nude, ice packs, and I drank easily two litres of water within the first two minutes that I got out of there.”
The temperature inside the vehicle had risen to 32C in the 42 minutes of Tymo’s occupancy. He was sweating profusely when he exited, and that is one crucial advantage humans have over dogs: an abundance of sweat glands. A human can sweat everywhere from head to toe. A dog’s sweat glands are concentrated in its feet.
The most common way for a dog to “sweat” is through panting. The more severe the panting, the hotter the dog is.
Another common misconception among dog owners is that a dog with a light – or short – coat, will not suffer the same consequences as a heavily-coated dog.
A dog’s coat, heavy or light, long or short, serves the same purpose – it insulates the dog from the elements. In the winter it keeps the cold out, and in the summer, to a degree, at least, it keeps the heat out as well. But that process can reverse itself under constant heat; should a dog’s core temperature increase, the fur lining will keep that temperature high.
“If I didn’t have sweat glands – if I literally was a dog – I probably would have been passed out in another five to seven minutes,” said Tymo.
Tymo’s reason for the stunt was noble. He was hoping that by doing this, some of the skeptics out there would clue into the fact the pleas from groups such as the BC SPCA are not simple propaganda: The danger is real.
So was it effective?
“Judging by the response that we got on Facebook and on air with the phone calls, yes, it was effective,” he said. “But did the message reach those people that should hear this stuff – those who still lock their pets in their vehicles? I hope so.”
Tymo had a message to pass along to all those reading the article: Don’t try this at home.
“This is not something anyone should try at home – this was done in a controlled environment, with professionals nearby,” he said.
“This is not a parlour game; this is not something to try with your friends. This was just to show you what happens to a body locked away in a hot vehicle.”
He also passed along his gratitude to the St. John Ambulance attendant, Ben Douglas.
-with files from www.psychologytoday.com/Canine Corner – Stanley Coren, PhD