We all love our pets like they are a member of the family. Now that summer is here, we’ll be taking those family members to the dog park and maybe even on vacation. And, although we don’t intend to be leaving dogs in hot cars while we run an errand, sometimes it happens. Most people believe that leaving a window open or parking in the shade will keep their pet from overheating. Unfortunately, this is a myth. In reality, partially lowering a window has no significant effect on the temperature inside a parked car, therefore don’t leave pets in hot cars.

During summer months, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to well above 100 degrees in just a matter of minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Never leave a dog in a parked car. On a mild day (70 degrees), the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees in 30 minutes. On a 90 degree day, the interior can reach 160 degrees in less than minutes. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.

You take your pets along for the ride because you love them. Not thinking for a moment that you could be potentially putting their fragile, short lives in danger. I used to take my dog everywhere with me when I ran errands. But, just when you think you’re going to run into 7-11 to get a gallon of milk, someone inevitably writes a check. Who writes checks anymore? And clerks don’t know how to take a check these days. So, what started out as a quick in and out, becomes an hour ordeal. And leaving your car running, unattended, so you can have the air conditioning on for your pet is against the law. Just leaving your keys in your ignition, unattended can result in a hefty fine. So don’t leave pets in hot cars.

So, my dog doesn’t ride along with me much anymore. He’s more comfortable at home, watching re-runs of Matlock.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Leaving Dogs in Hot Cars – Comedy Defensive Driving