As the summer approaches deadly temperatures, it's important for dog owners to remember the dangers of leaving their dogs unattended in vehicles. Even with windows rolled down, it is all too easy for a vehicle to quickly reach temperatures above 100 degrees. In fact, cars can quickly reach heat levels that far exceed those of the outside temperatures.
Since dogs pant to keep themselves cool, many pet owners believe their dogs are fine with the windows down and shady parking. But a panting dog doesn't always mean a dog that is well-cooled. A panting dog can also mean anxiety due to discomfort or stress, and can mean that the temperatures within the car are too hot for a dog to handle.
The best way to travel with a dog is to always have the air conditioning on, and avoiding traveling with a dog in the back of trucks or in kennels when the temperatures are very warm. Also, watching for warning signs of heat distress, such as a foamy or drooling mouth, heavy panting, listlessness, vomiting, or bright red gums can help a pet and dog owner make sure that their dog is being kept out of the heat.
If a dog appears to be in distress due to the heat, the best thing to do is to try to remove the animal from the heat and get them cool as quickly as possible. Providing cool water, shade, and a cool wet towel can help a dog cool down while waiting to get the assistance of a vet. If a dog does not improve its symptoms within 5 minutes, a vet must be called in order to make sure that the dog will be OK. Without assistance, a dog suffering from the heat can die. The heat should be taken seriously, and can be fatal for any dog, large or small, long or short haired.
Yes, a dog can travel in a car during the summer months, but a hot dog can be a very ill dog quickly. Keeping a dog out of the heat is the best way to ensure that they don't become sick or get in very real danger when they are with their human companions. If in doubt, it is always best to leave a dog at home when the temperatures are rising.