With the warmer weather finally upon us, it’s only natural that we want to take our four-footed family member with us wherever we go. But even though our pet may travel well, there will be days that it’s best to leave them at home. If it’s a warm or hot sunny day and you have many stops to make, having your best friend along can create logistical problems. The main issue here is heat stroke, as your car can become as hot as an oven within a matter of minutes. Whenever possible, leave a responsible person in the car when a stop is necessary, even if you park in the shade and leave the windows partially open. Better still, use a drive-thru if available, and shop in pet-friendly stores. Even if it’s a mere 20 °C outside, a car parked in the sun can reach an inside temperature of 46 °C in a matter of minutes! For more information, a great site to check out is mydogiscool.com.
Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, weakness, stupor, dark red gums and a body temperature of over 40 °C. It’s easy and worthwhile to learn how to take a pet’s temperature, but if you think your dog has heat stroke, take him to the nearest veterinary hospital immediately. The best prevention is to NEVER leave a pet alone in the car, even for a few minutes. You not only will avoid this life-threatening problem, but you’ll also avoid having one of your car windows smashed in by a ‘good Samaritan’ who notices your dog sitting in the locked car.
Another worthwhile tip is to purchase a seat belt for your dog and attach it to one of your existing seat belts. It will not only keep him safe in the event of a car accident, but it will also keep him from jumping around and distracting you while you drive. Having water on board and making frequent pit stops will also ensure you both enjoy the open road!