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Summer Safety: Do Not Leave Your Pet In An Overheated Car

Summer Safety: Do Not Leave Your Pet In An Overheated Car

Safety tips and alternatives to leaving your pet in the car when running errands.

While many people dread running errands and having to drive around in their cars all day long, the feeling could not be more opposite for some dogs.

If you have a pet that eagerly jumps in the car whenever you are heading out, you may notice the thrill that they get from having the wind blow through their fur and sniffing all of the scents with their head hanging outside the window. When your dog is having that much fun from coming along on your errands and driving around with you, it’s hard not to bring them along in the car.

However, the inside of a car is actually a very dangerous place for a pet, especially during the summer months. On a warm day, the temperature inside of a parked car can rise to between 100 and 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even when the windows are cracked open. On a hot day, such as a common 90 degree day here in Dallas, the inside temperature of a vehicle can even reach as high as 160 degrees, all in less than 10 minutes.

Therefore, it is important that you are never leaving your dog unattended in a parked car for any amount of time. Even leaving them alone in the heat for “just a minute” while you run an errand can be detrimental to their health.

The Dangers of Leaving Your Pet in the Car

There are a number of dangerous health side effects and problems that come from leaving your pet parked alone in the car:

  • If pets only have overheated air to breathe, they will begin to pant and eventually collapse. This can cause a heatstroke and even possible brain damage due to lack of oxygen reaching the brain.
  • When an animal’s body climbs above the normal 102.5 degrees, it risks undergoing damage to the nervous and cardiovascular system. This can cause your pet to become dehydrated, comatose and may even lead to death.
  • Many states and counties are beginning to pass laws where pet owners who leave their animals in danger (such as overheating in a car) can face serious penalties and fines in order to encourage people to begin leaving pets at home on hot days.
  • Many people don’t realize it, but leaving your pet in the car with the windows down is also a leading cause of pet theft. Thousands of pets are stolen each year after being left unattended in their car.

Alternatives to Leaving Your Pet in the Car

While we encourage many people to simply leave their pets at home on hot days, we understand that you are not always unable to travel without your pets. For instance, when you are taking them on vacation or taking them to the vet. In these cases, here are a few alternatives to having to leaving your pet in the car on a hot day:

  • Drive-Through: In addition to getting food right through your car window, you can now use drive-throughs to get money from the bank, to pick up your prescriptions, to get coffee, and any number of other necessities. No need to leave your car at all!
  • Pet Friendly Stores: There are an abundance of pet friendly stores available for people who want to bring their dog along to browse the shops. Just make sure that your pet is always leashed and feels comfortable in large crowds before bringing them along.
  • Eating Outdoors: If you need to stop for a bite to eat while traveling with your pet, try searching for a restaurant with an outdoor patio. Many places will allow your pet to side beside the table while you eat so that you don’t have to leave them in the car.

Do you have any other tips or suggestions for what to do with your pet on a hot day? Be sure to leave them in the comments below!

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Texas Alliance for Homeless Pets takes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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