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Car Safety and Your Dog

It’s a hot summer day and you are running some errands. You hate to leave your little buddy home alone, so you decide to bring your pup with you. Is that OK? The answer is be very careful.

The last thing any responsible pet owner wants to do is harm their pet. But you may not know how quickly the temperatures in your car can go from safe to deadly, particularly in the heat of summer. The temperature in your car can spike very quickly, within a matter of just a few minutes, even with the windows down a couple of inches. Watch this video below by Dr. Ernie Ward and you will see how quickly the interior car temperature can become very dangerous to your pet.

On warm days, it is best to leave your dog at home rather than try to risk bringing them along. But what do you do if you need to bring your pet or your on one of those epic road trips that you want to enjoy with your faithful companion? Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Find a shady place to park. Parking in the shade can reduce the temperature in your car by 10-15 degrees. That could make all the difference.
  • Set a  timer on your phone to remind you that you have precious cargo in the car. It’s easy to get distracted when you are on your errands. Maybe you think that you will be in the store only a few minutes, but before you know it a half an hour has gone by. Set a timer for 10 minutes so you don’t forget to get back out to the car right away.
  • Leave water in the car. Pick up a spill proof water container for your car. That way your dog can have access to water and it won’t slop around all over the inside of your car.
  • Avoid times of the year with temperature extremes. Leaving your dog in the car in extreme heat or cold is very dangerous. Avoid leaving your dog in the car during those times of year.

Finally, is it legal to leave your dog in the car? In most states, you cannot leave your dog in the car if the heat, cold or lack of ventilation poses a risk to their health or wellbeing. Just recently, there was a story from Massachusetts where the police had to rescue a dog from a car that was parked at the mall. The owner was charged with animal endangerment.

So, please be careful when you leave your dog in the car. Make your errand quick!

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