So you’re headed to the convenience store to grab some ice and a few forgotten items for your afternoon barbeque and the moment you open the door to leave – your dog bolts for the car. It’s like some crazy canine instinct…they inherently sense any opportunity to go for a car ride! They stare up at you with those pleading eyes and quietly whimper, begging you to let them join you. Ok, it’s a quick trip…why not? So what if it’s 86 degrees…you’ve got a/c in the car! You’ll just leave all the windows cracked open while you run in to pick up the items. No harm, right? Actually, even if it’s just a few minutes, the dangers of leaving dogs in cars during summer are significant. Here are a few things to think about before you give in to the temptation:
Temperatures Can Increase Dramatically
Think about it. Your car is basically a shiny metal box. Leave it the sun (or even partly shaded) and it’s going to heat up. A lot. Even if you crack all the windows, the interior temperature can rise drastically in a very short period of time. While you may take your dog to the groomers for a ‘spa’ day, this potentially lethal sauna is not a place you want to leave your pup.
Dogs Can Die – One of the Scariest Dangers of Leaving Dogs in Cars During Summer
Yes. Die. Short exposure to intense heat can be fatal to your dog. Animals can suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke – many times in less than 15 minutes. The only way dogs cool themselves is by panting or sweating through the pads in their paws, making it tougher for them to withstand the heat and much more susceptible to heatstroke. Leaving the windows open or cracked does not eliminate this danger.
You Can Face Charges of Animal Endangerment
In addition to the damage that may afflict your dog from exposure to intense temperatures in your car, you could be held responsible for endangering your pet. Many states have “hot car” laws in place and charges can be severe. Not only can you face charges of endangerment, you may find yourself with a hefty bill to replace a smashed window or repair damage from a forced entry, as some states have “Good Samaritan” laws allowing individuals or law enforcement officials to break into your car to rescue your dog.
So the next time you consider bringing your buddy along for a ride, remember the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars during summer. Plan ahead to protect your pet!