Summer Car Safety for Your Dog
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Summer Car Safety for Your Dog

A summary of car safety practices for your dog during the summer months.

We have made it to June and temperatures are starting to rise. I am a huge fan of the summer season, but I am not a fan of seeing dogs left in the car while their owners shop for just a few minutes or maybe even longer than a few minutes. Here are some summer safety tips for people who may not be aware of how dangerous heat can be to a dog.

Dogs deal with heat differently than humans. Dogs do not have sweat glands, so therefore they have to get rid of the heat building up in their body by panting. Dogs have a normal body temperature of about 101 or 102 degrees. If a dog’s body temperature goes much above that, heat stroke can be induced, which can be fatal to your dog. Temperatures inside a car in the summer heat can soar to nearly 150 degrees, so you can see how easily leaving your dog in the car while you run into the store to pick up just a few things could result in a deadly situation for your family member.

If you are in doubt as to how uncomfortable your car can be during hot weather, I suggest you put on a heavy coat and sit in the car while another family member shops for those few items and see how long you are able to stand the heat. As uncomfortable as you will be, I guarantee this situation is far more uncomfortable for your dog. Not only do you risk harming your dog, but you can be charged with animal cruelty if someone calls the police to report the situation.

Your dog is far safer staying at home in the yard during the summer season; however the yard can be dangerous as well if you have not prepared properly for the summer heat. Obviously your dog needs plenty of fresh cool water available at all times, as well as access to shade throughout the day. Also, some dog breeds are not cut out for the yard and the summer heat. Breeds with snub noses, or brachycephalic breeds like boxers, bulldogs, pugs, etc really need to be inside with air conditioning because these breeds are very heat sensitive.

My advice to dog owners is to figure out someplace where your dog can be comfortable inside the house during the summer heat. This could be in the basement, a bathroom depending on the size of the dog, or even the garage if it is well insulated and ventilated. I recommend that dog owners be safe rather than sorry during the summer by taking the appropriate precautions. There are plenty of other times when temperatures are lower for your dog to safely take a car ride. Most dogs are just as happy lounging under a tree outside, or on the couch inside, and they are certainly safer than being in a hot car.


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