Hot Diggity Dog!

Warning Of Leaving A Dog In Parked Cars

Many pet owners take their dogs with them to the gas station or fast food joints and leave them in the car  for “just 10 minutes.” In the summer, this mistake in judgment can be fatal. Even on a cloudy day, the temperature can rise drastically in mere minutes.

“On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes” -RedRover.

Contrary to popular belief, keeping the windows cracked open barely slows the rapid rise in temperature! The lack of shade and added heat coming off parking lot pavement speeds up the heating process in a car.

This summer when you’re out shopping, if you notice a panting dog in a car “take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. Have the owner paged in the nearest buildings, or call local humane authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog and be your witness if you need to break the car window to save the animals life. Stay with the animal until authorities arrive.” – PETA.

Signs of heatstroke:
Excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting,  lack of coordination. lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and loss of consciousness.

At particular risk: Long-haired dogs in warmer climates should be trimmed short. Bulldogs and pugs often have small tracheas and long soft palates, which decrease their ability to cool themselves. Senior dogs and young pups are even more susceptible to heatstroke.

As a responsible pet owner, try to leave pets at home or with a pet-sitter when you travel. Don’t be like the tourist parked at the Washington DC Holocaust memorial. He was arrested on animal cruelty charges after pedestrians got police to open his minivan. His two dogs had been inside the vehicle for an hour, barking to get out, and suffered severe heatstroke. The smaller chihuahua died.

Ways to bring down the animals temperature:    Forlorn

1. Applying cool, wet towels on the stomach, chest, groin and paws but do not to use ice
2. Get the pet to an air-conditioned car
3. Place dog in front of fan
4. Immerse in a tub of cool but not cold water
5. Help them drink small amounts of cool water

Just this month, a Wake Forrest woman left her two dogs in the car while she went shopping at Walmart. It was 84 degrees outside and she cracked her windows. Two hours later, pedestrians noticed the barking, panting dogs locked inside and called police. By the time they arrived, both dogs were dead.  Their owner had been shopping for three hours. When she came out, she was charged with Animal Cruelty. Last year, it was a Carrborro woman that left a service dog in the car on a stormy day for two hours. It died when interior temperature reached 124 degrees!

Remember, no matter the weather, never leave your dog unattended in a car for more than 10 minutes. You don’t want a hot dog, so be cool and leave them at home!

Restrain Thy Pet!


Picture this: a dog hanging out the car window, ears flapping in the wind, a silly grin on his face as his tongue shivers with excitement. We have all seen this joyous picture – yet the reality is that unrestrained dogs are not safe!

Accidents happen. Your pet could be launched from the vehicle like a projectile missile. “A 10-pound dog that’s not restrained can generate 500 pounds of force in a 50-mph crash.” – AAA. He could also collide with the kids in the car or tumble into the front seat and interfere with the drivers control of the vehicle!

AAA did a study in 2011  that listed “Pets moving around in the car as the 3rd worst car distraction”.  Other distracting behaviors that drivers have admitted to include: reaching in the back to entertain their pet, letting their dog ride up front on their lap, and taking a hand off the steering wheel to restrain their pet.

To prevent accidents due to pets in vehicles, North Carolina now strongly urges pet owners to invest in a safety harness for their dog. Below is a comparison of five different safety harness styles and their features.

Some of the seat belts have an extension you can purchase for more range of motion. Of course, you have to follow the installation instructions carefully. In the end, you could be saving the life of “Man’s best friend”.

I. The Company of Animals Clix Car Safe
Price: $13-$27
Sizes: X-small 14-25 inch chest, Small 21-25.5 inch,  Medium 23-29.5 inch,  Large 29.5-37 inch

1. Soft neoprene padding and “X-Cross” design for comfort and protection
2. Doubles as a walking harness
3. clicks directly into the seat-belt socket or by sliding the seat-belt through the harness
4. Uses double-sided adjustable buckles that clip together without needing to manipulate your dog’s legs

II. Solvit Pet Car Safety Harness
Price: $25 to $33 for large dogs
Sizes: Small 6-25 lbs., Medium  20-55 lbs., Large 45-85 lbs., X-tra Large 60-120 lbs.

1. Heavy-duty straps attach to a fully-padded vest, with a breathable inner layer for optimal pet comfort.
2. Only FULL METAL connectors are used at all load-bearing points.
3. integrates with the vehicle’s seat belt tensioning device, thus providing range of motion while traveling, but in the case of a sudden stop it locks in place to keep pets secure
4. Washable yet plastic buckles not as sturdy as metal would be
*One Year Warranty

III.  Pet Vehicle Safety Harness
Price: $29
Size: one size adjustable

1. Fully-padded chest piece, extremely comfortable per 100 reviews from pet owners
2. Made of high quality automotive materials such as seat belt webbing for extra durability.
3. Five adjustment points for a perfect fit on all shapes and sizes.
4. Integrates with vehicle’s seat belt tensioning device to provide range of motion while traveling, but locks during sudden stops.
5. Easiest to use harness available today.

IV. Guardian Pet Specialties Pet Safe-T-Belt
Price: $29-$49 for large dogs
Sizes: X-small 3-7 lbs.,  Small 7-19 lbs. ,  Medium 20-50 lbs.,  Large 51-100 lbs.

1. High end, quality product with very durable material – strong, soft nylon, with stitching and fasteners on the outside
2. High level of restraint keeps pet secure
3. Adjustable safety strap allows pets to sit, lie down or stand comfortably
4. Compatibility: Universal seat belt clip fits most vehicles (Does not fit SAABS or Ford Explorers)
*One year warranty

V. Four Paws Pet SafetySitter
Price: $12

1. Affordable, well made, with strong, soft, double-stitched nylon and sturdy hardware
2. Instructions are clear and well-illustrated
3. An added feature is the sturdy metal ring stitched into the back of the harness that you can clip a leash to so it doubles as a walking harness