One of the most common causes of heat stroke is owners leaving their dogs in vehicles on hot summer days. As tempting as it might be to take Fido for a quick ride to the store, keep in mind that you could be causing more harm than good. Even the young, most healthy of dogs can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and even sunburn while being left in a vehicle for just a matter of minutes.
On a hot summer day, the inside of your car can reach 100+ degrees, and a car seat and dash board can reach 140+ degrees. Imagine sitting in these temperatures with a floor length fur coat, a hat and scarf on. This is how your dog will feel when trapped in a vehicle. Keep in mind that dogs don’t sweat through the pores of their skin like humans. The only way they can cool off is through the pads of their feet and by panting.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that windows being down a crack will provide enough air circulation to cool your pet. A good rule of thumb to follow: if its too hot for you, its twice as hot for your dog. If you’re questioning whether or not its too hot to take your dog in the car, most likely it is and its probably wise just to leave him/her home while you run your errands.
If you must take your dog in the car with you, be sure to provide a constant supply of fresh, cool water, and even wet, cool towels for your dog to lay on. You can even purchase battery operated fans to place in your car. Never EVER leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, even if you’re parked in the shade.