How to avoid becoming one of this summer’s “Dog dies in hot car” statistics:
- If the weather can be described as warm, hot, or not cold – do not leave your dog unattended in the car.
- When in doubt about whether it would be ok to leave your dog in the car, do not leave dog in car.
My thinking is that the overwhelming majority of owners who kill their dogs by leaving them in a hot car thought the dog would be ok. (There are a small number of people who actually forget the dog is in the car altogether or something along those lines.) People think things like:
- He’s a dog, he’s used to the heat
- He’ll be fine, I left the window cracked
- I’m only going to be gone for like 2 minutes, max
Problems arise when:
- He was a dog, he was used to the heat, and he died
- He wasn’t fine, even though I left the window cracked
- I was gone for a little longer than 2 minutes, and he died
Here’s the thing: No matter what your reasoning – which may on its face be sound – you are leaving your dog. As such, you do not know what will be happening to him in your absence. The clouds may shift and place him in direct sunlight or he may become stressed due to a factor other than the temperature – you just don’t know.
Anytime you are preparing to leave your dog unattended in the car: Plan as if you will be abducted by aliens, medically probed for 7 hours, and returned to a spot near your car with a vague “Whaaaa?” feeling. Will your dog be ok while you’re gone?