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5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Car

5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Car

Leaving a dog alone in the car, even for a short period, can pose serious risks to their health and well-being. It is generally recommended to avoid leaving your dog unattended in a car whenever possible. If there are situations where you absolutely must leave your dog alone in the car for a moment, here are some best practices to follow.

1. Assess the Weather Conditions: 

Before leaving your dog in the car, consider the current weather conditions. Extreme temperatures can be dangerous for dogs as they are more sensitive to heat than humans. On hot days, the cabin temperature of a car can rise rapidly, leading to heatstroke or even death. Similarly in cold weather, cars can act as refrigerators, trapping cold air and potentially causing hypothermia. It is advisable to avoid leaving your dog alone in the car during extreme temperatures.

2. Plan Ahead: 

Whenever possible, plan your outings so that your dog doesn’t need to wait in the car. Opt for pet-friendly establishments such as bunnings or mitre 10 for example or activities that allow your dog to accompany you. If you know you’ll be running errands that don’t permit dogs, consider leaving the dog at home where they are safe and comfortable.

3. Use Dog-Friendly Alternatives: 

If you absolutely need to make a quick stop and can’t bring your dog in with you, look for dog friendly alternatives. There are many stores, restaurants, or cafes around New Zealand that have designated outdoor areas where dogs are welcome. Utilize these options to ensure your dog remains in a safe and comfortable environment.

4. Provide Adequate Ventilation: 

If leaving your dog in the car becomes unavoidable, make sure there is proper ventilation. Crack open the windows enough to allow fresh air to circulate, but not so much that your dog can escape or become stuck. Parking in a shaded area could also be of benefit on hot days. Some electric vehicles these days such as tesla’s have dog mode whereby the air conditioning system continues to operate. Keep in mind that this may not be sufficient during hot weather, as it does not guarantee a cool and safe environment.

5. Secure the Car: 

Before leaving your dog alone, ensure the car is secure. Lock all doors and close all windows, leaving no opportunity for your dog to escape or for strangers to access the vehicle. This helps prevent accidents and potential theft.

6. Leave Water and Shade: 

If the weather is moderate and you must leave your dog for a very short period be sure to provide access to fresh water and ensure there is sufficient shade inside the car. Place a bowl of water in a secure location and consider using sunshades to minimize direct sunlight.

7. Regularly Check on Your Dog: 

If circumstances require you to leave your dog alone in the car, check on them frequently. Some newer vehicles have tools available where you can check the video inside the car to check on them. Try to minimize the time your dog spends alone in the car and return as soon as possible. Keep your outings brief to avoid compromising safety.

Remember, these practices are not a substitute for leaving your dog in the car all the time out of habit. If it's hot or cold outside, it is always best to find an alternative solution that ensures your dog's safety and comfort. Your dog's health and happiness should always be the top priority, and taking precautions to prevent potentially harmful situations is essential.