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December 27, 2013

Never Leave Pets in Your Car: Refraining Could Save Their Lives

A leading source of death for animals can be a hot car because dogs’ and cats’ lungs and bodies cannot take the heat that can build in a car on a hot day with the windows closed. Heat can quickly rise to more than 104 degrees, which can be dangerous. Heat like this can put an animal or child in stress and must be avoided. Refraining from leaving an animal in a car can save its life. Sometimes if a person wishes to take a dog or cat along, you can bring a water bowl and leash and tie the animal to a tree or post outside the store.

Pets travel well in crates or pet carrying cases anyway, and it’s easy to tote these along if you plan to take your special little cat with you on a vacation or extended trip. Dogs tend to like to be thrown in the back of the car for outings like the park or even downtown shopping, but if you do take them it can get tricky if you plan to go into a doctor’s office or shopping area. The leash/water bowl solution works well if you can find a quiet, shady place for them to rest while you do your errands. This approach works only, however, with a non-barking dog.

Another approach to having to bring a pet along is hiring a pet sitter, someone who can sit with them and watch them while you are out. Often, neighborhood kids are a good solution for this sort of thing. They can be hired for under $10 per hour and can have flexibility in how much you need to pay. Some love animals already and will work for very little money.

A final approach to the hot car is lowering the windows completely, with a leash tying the dog into the car but not leaving it enough of a leash to jump out the window. Tying the dog into the back of the car, perhaps with a seat belt made for dogs works because it gives the dog the latitude to lie down in the backseat without getting overly heated. Filling a waterbowl makes a difference and thus you could park in the shade, be sure the windows are all the way down, and manage to travel thus with them even if it’s in the 70s or summer-like. Likewise a cat carrier could be left in the backseat with the windows completely lowered and the car parked in the shade. Hot sun builds up in the car; putting the car out of the sun completely prevents the car’s heating up.

No matter which you choose, remember sometimes it’s just kinder to leave the furry friends home than take them along. If you must travel with them, plan carefully. Airlines can make reservations the way that they do for people; animals travel with the luggage, so be sure to call or see what specs they require for crates and pet carriers.

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