Can I Leave My Dog In The Car This Summer?
It's that time of year again and even though most owners are pretty familiar with the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car, we feel it's always important to revisit the facts. It makes sense that rising temperatures could result in heat stroke for your pet but owners often asking, is it okay if I leave the car on with the air conditioning? Or is it safer if I open a window a little bit? The answer is simply to never ever leave a dog alone in the car, even with the window cracked or air conditioning on. In some states, it's even illegal to do so now.
In some cases it may be too hot for your pet to even leave your home, check out more details on how to tell if it's too hot outside for your pet, here.
Car Safety For Dogs
It doesn't even have to be very hot in order for your car to begin heating up. On extremely hot days, temperatures inside a parked car can reach as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit in less than an hour. Studies have showing that cracking a window changes these figures very very little. A parked car with the windows cracked has shown to heat up at almost the exact same rate as a car with the windows rolled up, ruling that method pretty ineffective for dog safety.
All dog breeds are vulnerable to heat stroke, and some breeds are completely heat intolerant such as pugs and bulldogs. This means you have to be extra mindful that they could become overheated faster than other dogs. Traveling with another adult is an easy way to make sure someone is in the car with the dog at all times. This keeps them safe and reduces the risk of the dog jumping out of an open window.
An exorbitant amount of pets die from car-related heat stroke each year, and has become such an embroiled issue that 28 states have laws against owners leaving their pets alone in a vehicle. Some allow police officers or citizens to break into cars to help them and outlaws it altogether.
Proper training can also play a key role in care safety for your pet. Your dog should only exit the car after you do from the door nearest to the driver side. You should give them a clear command when it's time for them to exit. Instructing them in how to 'wait' is also helpful.
Other Risks for Dogs Riding in Vehicles
It's best to be prepared when traveling in a car with your pet. Some of the most recommended items to aid in this are a harness, crate, or carrier. You can find crash-tested equipment that has been certified for pet safety and met required standards. Without properly restraining your pet in the car, they can climb around and restrict your view of traffic ahead and behind you, or push the gear shift or buttons that could also put you both in danger.
Even though it is one of the most precious, token dog behaviors, even hanging their head out the window can put them in danger. Eye, ear, mouth, and other facial injuries from contaminants or debris in the air can occur. Unrestrained dogs are vulnerable to falling out if there is an abrupt stop, swerve, or turn. They could also simply jump out if they saw something they wanted to chase. The same issues go for pets riding in the bed of a pickup trucks.
So if you’re headed out to run errands that really don’t involve any fun activities for your dog, you might want to consider leaving them safely at home. When traveling, check out our awesome collection of gentle, easy-to-use leashes and collars.