Summer is in full swing and you’re accustomed to having man’s (or woman’s) best friend ride shotgun as you run errands all over town. The problem is, car interiors can become as hot as an oven in a surprisingly short amount of time. For example, on a typical summer day when temperatures soar to 90 degrees, the inside of a parked car can reach about 120 degrees in just 20 minutes—or about the time it takes to run into the store and grab a few groceries or order lunch to go at the local deli. So just as you stay abreast of local dog bite laws that hold you liable should your dog bite someone, you also want to be aware of safe practices to help keep your dog safe. Summer safe strategy number one: Be cognizant of when it’s too hot to take your dog on the road with you.
The outside temperature doesn’t even have to be that hot to result in dangerously high interior temperatures. Even a mild sunny day can elevate the heat inside a vehicle, due to the phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect. If a dog is exposed to extreme heat, it could result in fatal heat stroke. Signs of overheating include excessive panting and difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, weakness, confusion, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, or even collapse. Get your pet to a vet immediately at the first signs of distress.
Don’t give new meaning to the phrase “hot dog”
Leaving your dog alone in a parked car in hot weather isn’t just a bad idea, it’s also illegal in many states. This summer, don’t combine a tragedy with a legal problem—if you are running errands in places where your four-legged friend isn’t welcome, do yourself (and your dog) a favor and leave him at home. Do yourself another favor and consult a professional insurance agent for information about dog bite laws in your area, and learn how you can purchase coverage to shield you from the liability inherent in owning a dog.