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Dog Safety from the Summer Heat.

69417 Views 88 Replies 75 Participants Last post by  [email protected]
Hi all, sorry for the huge delay in getting a new topic out but I have to admit, I've just been fresh out of ideas /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/11_confused.gif. Well, until today that is /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/03_wink.gif.

Here goes…
Now that summer is fast approaching and our days are getting longer and warmer what are some of the things that we can do to keep our pooches cool, hydrated and safe in the summer heat? What are safe summer practices regarding exercise, car rides and time in the sun and what are not? Is it OK to leave the windows of the car open while you run quickly, or not so quickly, into a store or should there be laws against dogs being left in cars at all? What do you do when you see a dog locked (or should I say trapped!) in a car on a hot summer day?

Hmmm.... let us know what you think, what you do and what you've seen in the past. Hopefully topics like this will make it a safe summer for dogs everywhere.

rhaya /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/06_cool.gif
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1 - 20 of 89 Posts <----I think this is a great website!

I will take my dogs with me for work errands where I am running in, dropping off, and going right back to the car. I bring an extra set of keys and lock the doors and leave the car on and the AC running. Emergency brake on. And I always hope they don't unlock the doors!

I believe there was a tragic situation where the AC was left on but the car died and the dogs were trapped. I would not use my system for things that took longer than 5-10 minutes, and I use my cell phone clock to time it.
My dogs are always inside their crates if I leave them in the car. Both rear windows are left completely open and they have a battery operated fan on their kennel doors. Yes, it is a risk that someone may open the car door through the open window but I'm willing to take that risk.
I try to park under a shade as much as possible. If parked under a shade, you can leave them for an hour and they're comfortable.

Also, I hide their leashes to make it more difficult for someone to steal them although my dogs will bark, growl and possibly bite anyone that tries to get into the car except me.

I also always have water and a container for them to drink from. If I'm thirsty enough to have something in the car's cupholder that means my dogs are going to be thirsty too.
Where I live it is already reaching over 90 degrees so this is a big deal with me.

We've learned that the car thing is not something to be taken lightly. We recently were transporting a reptile and thinking it would be fine (since it's cold-blooded) we left it in the car WITH the windows cracked. Within 15 minutes of us returning it was dead.

I don't EVER leave any animals in the car anymore unless I'm only going to be gone for 5 minutes or less, but it's gotten to where someone is in the car with the dog with the car on while one person goes inside.

I am also having a hard time with walks. Any suggestions on this? The humidity makes it even HOTTER and recently I tried walking to Kid's Park, something I did alot in spring and I didn't make it. I had to call my mother to come pick me up. I was actually feeling dizzy and dehydrated and Mali wasn't looking so good either. Doesn't help that shes a longhaired with black fur.

Also when the dogs go outside in the yard they are back at the door within ten minutes whining to come in.

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/02_frown.gif I really want to enjoy summer but unless we're at a pool or beach or the bay I don't know how to.
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My girls travel with me to my studio and on occasion to the grocery store. I also carry an extra set of keys to lock the car with the a/c on. I do this seldom and only because we live in a little sleeper town where I don't have to worry about someone dognapping them.(Yet!) When the temps start rising I won't have them in the car at all while I run errands. Just to and from work.
The girls go with me only when we are going somewhere they can get out and come inside with me. Otherwise the HAVE-TO stay home with DH and watch TV.

Our summer temperature is in the 85-90's/6-8 weeks, 100+/a week.
So I am looking for cheap disposable thermostats, which can be attached to car windows, for those folks that do leave their pets/children in the car while they run a "quick" errand. For now I am going into the store and having them make a general announcement over the PA system and or call the police if no one responds.
Years ago, a humane society near me said not to take
your dogs with you if the outside air temp was 72 or
above. I still hold to that. Do all my trips very early
in the morning.

Few years ago, I had to call about two dogs left out in
the back of a pick-up with a black bedliner, I grabbed
my water out of my truck that I always carry with me and
sarted pouring it all over. Animal control officer got
there and when the owner finally showed up, she read him
the riot act and he was properly chastised, it was
satisfying to see!

I always carry a center punch with me, and I will use it
to get a fur OR skin kid out of a hot locked car if I
have to, and deal with the consequences later! I don't
think any judge in the world would put me away for it.
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I also leave Shaka at home during hot weather. I tell him I wish I could stay home in the air-conditioned house! He sulks, but is soon happy again when we go outside and play for a few minutes. He loves to go through drive-through windows (pharmacy, bank) because the clerks often give treats for him with the receipt.
Here in Florida I always keep lots of water in the car. If Karl is off with me working I will pour a bottle of water (not cold) over him once in awhile to cool him off. I try to keep him in the shade as much as possible. I give him extra breaks while walking and try to limit as much activity as possible to early morning and later in the day. If your dog is going to be on a hot surface then put booties on him to keep his pads from burning. And don't forget the sunscreen for eartips--I use the kind made for children/babies.

At home, we have plastic wading pools outside for the dogs to cool off in and sometimes we will turn a sprinkler on.

And watch your dog for warnig signs of overheating.





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With SAR training there is a lot of time in the car

1-A lean physically fit dog will be less subject to heat exhausting. I still play about 40 minutes of 2 ball split between am and pm EVERY day but when the sun is low and watch the dogs for signs of overheating
2-we park in shade windows down fan going and wire crate (platic crates can retain more heat and stagnant air around the dog not good). when you park in the shade be sure you understand where the sun is going.
3-plenty of cold water
4-if we go out to eat after training, i too leave the AC running and check every 10 minutes - i have been told it is not as hard on a car as you think.
5-since I don't keep the dogs outside i do have the thermostat in the house turned up to a slightly uncomfortable 78
6-splitting food to two light meals with time in the cooler house to digest
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Excellent tips! Reina ALWAYS wants to go out and play, but I notice she is more willing to come in now that it's so hot and humid here. She also has a pool to play in when it's so hot.
Somewhere I picked up information on "hot dog" - it is a system that offers two or more options. One notifies you if your AC stops running when you are away from the car, the other, if I remember right, notifies you, sets off an alarm and rolls down the windows if the AC stops.
I think I'm going to look into this for the next vehicle. I like to drive and take the dogs on vacation with me. In Wyoming, it got so I'd try to go early in the summer or early in the fall. This was after I stopped at a rest stop in southern Idaho and even the ground (largely sand - grass is posted "No Dogs" at most western rest stops) was too hot for them to walk on comfortably. Here, we just don't go much in the summer. We drive to the barn (40 minutes or more) and then they are out of the truck either to watch me if I ride in the arena (late at night it is almost comfortable) or along on a short trail ride. (which is usually done at dusk. Flies are bad, but temp a little cooler.) Summer here just flat out sucks.

A couple of products people may want to know about which are good especially if you are traveling in a more arid climate - those crate pad size pads that you soak in water really work to keep dogs cool. They also make dog bandanas that incorporate this stuff. They give off moisture for quite a while.
I also have a set of shades for the windows. Sitting in the sun can be pretty uncomfortable for animal or human and the window shades help cut that. I use one across the back window and one on the passenger side of the cab. Inellegant but functional; kinda goes with the slobber on the window.
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I take Riggs with me even on the hot days. I can leave the windows rolled all the way down and he will not leave the car. And if anyone opened the door he would run out and try to find where I went - he's not the type of dog to willingly go with someone. But he would not try to bite them (if he did I wouldn't bring him with).

Neke only goes for car rides every once in a great while since it's harder for her to stay stable in the moving car.

And the two little guys would jump out the window of a MVONG car (dweebs) so they don't get to go for rides in the hot weather unless we're not leaving them in the car anywhere.

Back when I worked a block for the local dog park I used to bring Riggs and Tessa with me to work and leave them in the van. Parked in the shade, windows all open, bowls of water for them. And this was in the fall - temps outside in the low 70's and not humid. I would take them to the park during my lunch hour. Someone at my office building called the cops and AC. A co-worker noticed them walking around my van and told me - so I went out. We talked and even thought hey agreed with me that the way I was doing it was fine - they 'suggested' that I stop doing it. Then they asked if they could meet the dogs and they were very impressed with how well behaved the dogs were. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/01_smile.gif
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Forgot to add ...

To the list of What to Do to Cool Down Your Dog Safely - add applying cold towels to the INSIDE of the back legs. This is where the major artieries are and if you cool that blood supply it will cool down the dog faster.

In extreme cases they will give the dog a cool water enema. The INTERNAL heat is the problem - it cooks the organs. So you want to cool the dog interanlly as quickly as possible.
If it's too hot for me - it's too hot for Zahra. That's my rule of thumb.

Thanks for those tips TJ - great, they are now in memory. I've never left the house with out a bowl and a few water bottles in the trunk.
The kids and I don't leave the house without our water bottles in this heat - same with Z
Well, if they are not going to a place where I can be with them at all times they stay at home. They have shelter, water and freedom. Hot weather can kill and I'm not going to risk my dogs' lives just because they don't like missing out on a car ride.

I will/have always been aware of hot cars and what they can do to dogs. Shade moves around and cars parked in shade can easily end up in full sun. Plus even in shade cars will get hot without a cool breeze - try it some time. When you sit in a parked car it soon gets uncomfortable.

Joy Adamson (Born Free) killed a cheetah/leopard?? by leaving it in a car in the shade and a friend (who should have known better) also lost her prize breeding staffy by forgetting she was in the car. The car was also destroyed by the frantic dog trying to escape - heart breaking!!

I cannot understand anyone taking their dog anywhere there is the potential that the dog will be left in a hot car. If you are not with the dog, they are better off safe at home.
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I have NO air conditioning in my home.Last summer it was soo hot I took Jake to parking lot near LI sound (no dogs allowed on beach)parked in shade with all windows open. iT WAS COOLER THAN MY HOUSE. I left car to walk to hot dog stand for treats for both of us and came back to find crazy woman and police who told me 'your dog should be home in air conditionong.'I got a little hot myself and replied'IF YOUR DOG LAWS LET ME TAKE PUP FOR SWIM I WOULD'and if they really felt bad they were welcome to put AC in my house!WQhich leads me to ask do you have a public place where dogs can swim?
My dogs spend a lot of time in the car in the summer unfortunately due to training.

I make sure that they have plenty of water, i replace electrolytes and the back of the truck is always open along with one or 2 doors. And I park in the shade. Also someoen is always at base camp to make sure all dogs are safe and watered.

Afetr my dogs are worked I stay with them for at least 20 minutes to ensure that they drink enough and cool down in a acceptable time. the other week ike would not cool down the way I wanted so he got drenched with water, laoded with cool water and electrlytes and had a mom paniced for a while. i have to be careful cause he is a black dog and it makes it harder, and he will not stop himself. At USAR training we have a baby pool that is brought out for the dogs to cool them selves at, it becomes the central activity when it gets hot, all the dogs get together and have a blast and roll around. It helps to have it to kept hem cool.

Have a good friend whos dog nearly died from working too long in the heat, it was very scary.

But the dogs go everywhere with me, and if they must stay in the car then all the windows are down and the back is open. I live in a small town and dont worry much about soemthing happeneing to them, but if I a going inot the big town, they stay home.

In my county it is legal for a private citizen to break windows in a car if they feel an animals life is in danger. i have never had to do this, but I would in a heart beat, even if it was illegal. ther is no exucse for being so irresposoble and the animals should not pay.

best advice I can give is make sure you and your dog are properly hydrated, the dog is good shape and try to work in the cooler times of the day.
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We are going through a very humid heatwave at the moment. I am very careful as to leaving windows open. I have a little runabout car especially for Zabrina and when we are travelling I leave the side windows open. Its rare that I would have to get out to go to the shops.

I always carry water anyway so when we get out to walk etc she has lots of water.

I have seen before where those small dogs (yappie things) are left in cars and very little ventilation and its cruel. I do a lot of charity work for Blue Cross UK and USPCA and RSPCA too so I am extremely aware of cars etc.

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All 3 of our fur kids inside during the day /night 24/7 air on walks early am or late pm just too blasted hot 99 degrees today not incl the humidity /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/06_cool.gif
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