I was out running errands around town yesterday evening and parked next to a vehicle with a dog inside of it. Naturally, I felt bad for the dog and realized this is an unfortunate trend during the summer.

Plain and simple: the weather is becoming too hot for a dog to stay inside of your car while you run errands and shop. Within just a few minutes, even with the windows down, it can reach fatal temperatures inside a car. Here are a few facts to think about before running into the store with your dog locked inside of your vehicle.

  • The balance point between storing and getting rid of heat for a dog is 60 degrees Fahrenheit for a smooth-coated sled dog.
  • Dogs can't sweat to cool themselves down, the way humans can. The only way they can cool off is to sweat through their paws or to pant. But panting means taking in air as well as breathing it out.
  • Finally, the most important fact and most obvious, the temperature outside the car is not an indicator of how hot is it inside the car.
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So please think twice before leaving your pet in your vehicle while running errands and shopping. If you see an animal in a car on a warm day, contact your local law enforcement. It just may save a life.