Don’t let your pet wait in the car …

Dog Driver : Project365 : Photo 95
Image by grahamcase via Flickr

Severe temperatures can be extremely hard on your pet.  Whether it is hot weather or cold weather, when temperatures spike, it can be very dangerous.

We want to bring to your attention something very important – car safety. This is something you need to keep in mind not only in summer, but all year round.  This is mostly for our dog owners as most of our feline friends prefer not to ride in the car!

Many of our dogs love to ride in the car. It’s tempting to pop into a store or run an errand for “just a minute” while your dog waits in the car. Every summer there are cases of pets overheating, some fatally, during these brief periods of being left alone in the car. In warm weather, the temperature inside a car can rise to deadly levels in just minutes, even with a window cracked. Because dogs cannot eliminate heat through sweating as efficiently as humans can, they can be overcome by heat exhaustion very rapidly.

Cold weather can also be very tough on dogs.  Some breeds seem to weather colder temperatures better than others.  Older dogs, sick dogs, dogs with arthritis and many smaller breeds can be badly affected by cold temperatures.  Temperatures inside the car can often feel even colder than when you are out moving around, so you should be careful about leaving your dog alone in a parked car, even in cold weather.

There are two great measures to keep in mind:  (1.) if you wouldn’t want to remain in the car (hot or cold) for the duration you leave your pet in the vehicle, then leave your canine companion at home and (2.) purchase a small thermometer that you can affix to the inside of your car window… if the temperature rises or falls to drastically, offer to take your pooch for a ride another day.

Although we encourage you to take your pet with you as often as possible, we also want you to be aware that extreme heat or cold, for your dog can have a significant impact on their health and safety.

Be safe…

Dr. Nikki Eaton

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