How to Avoid Leaving your Dog in Your Car

by Diane Blankenburg

Last Friday was the official first day of summer. It’s very exciting to me as I love our summers—the dry heat of the day, the refreshing afternoon breezes, and the perfect cool evenings. But with three big dogs who love to go anywhere and everywhere, the warm weather makes me pause and rethink my doggie car trips.

Most people just don’t realize how fast the inside of a car can heat up, even on relatively cool days. And in the summer, the internal temperature can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows partially open. This escalation—combined with the fact that dogs have a higher internal body temperature than humans—is enough to cause serious medical problems and even death.

Keys and leashes are immediate stimuli for my canine clan and the drooling, whining, and full-body wags are non-stop. It’s very hard to resist outings that obviously give them so much pleasure, but I also want to keep them safe. I recently read a set of interesting alternatives for safe dog outings published by Petfinder.com; so next time your dog starts the “I wanna go” dance, consider these:

  1. Use the drive-through options for errands whenever available.
  2. Bring a friend along who can play with your dog outside while you run your errands.
  3. Shop at pet-friendly stores where your dog is welcome to browse with you.
  4. Eat at an outdoor café where you dog can sit with you.
  5. Leave your dog at home where it’s cool and safe.

A good rule of thumb is to never leave your dog in a car for even a short period of time. But this becomes even more critical as we maneuver the Reno hot summer months—with record breaking temperatures predicted in the coming days, reaching as high as 104 degrees.

Reno is a very dog-friendly kind of town and I think you can find many ways to accommodate your dogs without having to leave them in your car. On the other hand, I know that my dogs so live in the moment that they will quickly forgive me if I decide it is best to leave them at home.

Upcoming Events that Help Animals

Pets and More Arts & Craft Fest,  July 6, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Scolari’s Shopping Center, Pyramid Hwy/Holman Way, Sparks. 20% of proceeds will benefit Nevada Humane Society.

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