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April 2024

Vacation Safety For Your Pets

Sunday, May 10, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGVACAYou’re about to leave on a much needed vacation. You are taking your dog along with you because you can’t think of leaving him in a strange kennel all by himself for a week or longer. You put him in his crate, fill his dog bowl with cool water and put him in the back of your SUV. When it comes to car travel, special precautions should be taken. Dogs do not do well in hot weather. You must be concerned with dehydration and stroke. I see this all the time – dogs in a car at a rest stop on a hot day with the windows basically closed. Last year, while coming back from my weekend place in Delaware, I stopped at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. In the car parked right next to me was a poor dog, crying. The windows were closed, it was a hot day and the owners were nowhere to be found. My heart was breaking for this poor animal. What were his selfish or stupid owners thinking?? After about ten minutes, I went back inside the rest stop and had the owners paged. I waited there until they came out. I could see that the dog was panting in the terrific heat. They seemed concerned but it could have been too late. That dog could have died. I stress – NEVER not for one second leave your dog in the car in the hot summer!!!!! That couple could have taken turns going into the rest stop. One could have stayed with the dog in the car with the air conditioner on.

Typically, owners may think it is ok to leave a dog in a parked car for a few seconds with the window slightly cracked open. They may not be aware that the car will become an oven! Temperatures will reach 120 degrees or higher in a few minutes. Bring lots of water and offer it to your dog at regular intervals. Dogs get distracted during trips and will forget to drink.

I would recommend to make sure that your car is air conditioned. Keep it running at all times while your are traveling with your dog. If possible, take along another person on the trip so that when you stop, have the other person sit with the dog in the car with the air conditioner on. Take turns going into the rest stop. This way your furry friend is cool and will not be frightened by being left alone. If it’s impossible to take someone else along, get the car real cool before you stop. Make sure that you park in the shade. If there is no shade, move on to another rest stop until you find shade! Crank the windows open and make your stop real quick. I mean no more than 3 minutes!!

Remember, your pets count!


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