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Never, Ever Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car

dog in carNever leave your dog in a parked car! You’ve probably heard this piece of pet safety advice a hundred times and you’re well aware that a car can heat up to deadly temperatures in a matter of minutes on a sunny day. The problem is, even well informed pet parents can make mistakes. You might think it’s okay to leave your canine companion in the car if the windows are cracked or if you snagged a parking spot in the shade, but it’s still not! Below are a few more reasons to leave FIDO at home when you’re out running errands:

Leaving the windows cracked doesn’t cool down the car enough.

Leaving those windows down just a little isn’t going to cool down the car enough to protect your dog. Dogs feel heat differently than people do and can only cool themselves down through panting and sweating out of the pads of their paws. Not enough cool air can circulate in the car from the leaving the windows cracked, putting your pooch at serious risk for heatstroke.

Shade doesn’t provide adequate protection.

Even if your car is parked in the shade, temperatures inside a vehicle can still rise dangerously quickly. The temperature inside a closed vehicle can soar 19 degrees in just 10 minutes and 29 degrees in just 20 minutes. So, even if the temperature starts out a few degrees cooler in a shady spot, it can still rise to lethal levels.

The AC can be a dangerous option too!

It’s not unheard of for an air conditioner compressor or engine to fail, especially with an older car. It’s also not impossible for a dog to accidentally hit a button or switch that turns the air conditioning off or changes the temperature. Plus, why would you ever leave your keys in the ignition while running an errand?

It’s best to always play it safe and leave pets at home, even on moderately warm days. Practice hot weather safety at home too by always providing plenty of clean water and a cool place to rest.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Sam Meyers September 9, 2015, 10:41 am

    Where I live so many people leave their cars running, with the dogs inside, while they do their shopping and I have seen it all, from dogs being stolen from the cars, to them activating the heater instead of AC, to pressing the electric window button and getting out of the open windows (I saved a little poodle doing just that last year) and then yesterday the owners of a truck parked next to me had managed to lock themselves out of the truck which had been left running. Some vehicles will do this – automatically lock after running for a while. Or the dog can lock you out. Why are people just so stupid?

    • Teri September 11, 2015, 12:09 pm

      Hmm….well, I have remote start which allows me to lock the car and run the A/C. The dog can’t lock me out because I have the key fob. And I sincerely doubt anyone is going to steal my dog…as a 100# American Bulldog is quite unlikely to allow a stranger in the car without turning them into hamburger….of course, I only do this when running into the meat market….and I have a clear view of my car at all times….

    • Tomme September 30, 2015, 1:34 pm

      I always carry a door/ignition key for my truck with a fob and two spare door/ignition keys in separate locations. I also carry three house keys also in separate locations, plus I have a house key hidden in a fake rock among real rocks under bushes outside the side door of my house. Call me paranoid if you will, but it’s impossible for me to get locked out of either my truck or my house. ;’) Folks who choose not carry any spare keys are just not focused on the reality that losing their one key is always a possibility and then the hassle involved in dealing with that situation can be really bad. :^(

  • gina September 9, 2015, 11:26 am

    Lessons learnt the hard way. Also when taking your pets to the shot clinic (or anywhere)… never allow the door to close with the AC running and keys in the ignition unless you have the remote or an extra key in your pocket. They may lock you out. 😮 lol

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