Two dogs died last week in Massachusetts when they were left in a pickup with the windows open and water freely available to them.  The owner was trying to do what was right; but the dogs died any way.  The temperature was just too hot and there was no ventilation.

I can not imagine the distraught feelings the owners have right now.  I like to take my dog with me when I am out and about; but, I am down right paranoid.  It is up to us as the leader not to subject our pets to harm … even when it is good intentioned.  I tell my clients to know what to expect before they do anything with their dogs … thinking you know is not acceptable.  Yet, we all do it sometimes.  Let this be a reminder that the most innocent things can go wrong in a flash.

Here are a couple of excerpts that I feel are important from the news article from :

Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society Director Candy Lash told 22News many pet owners tragically underestimate the dangers of leaving a dog in a car for even a few moments.

“Even on a 70 degree day, parked in the shade with windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes,” said Lash.


The rising temperatures can also pose other risks to pets. According to Dr. Mueller,dogs with light fur are even more susceptible to sunburn. Shaving your pet down can help keep it cooler, but you should leave at least one inch of fur to prevent severe sunburns.

In the “dog days of summer,” any outside walks should be taken in the morning or evening hours, when temperatures are cooler.


Early symptoms of heat stroke include panting, tiredness and slowing down. Certain breeds of dogs and cats with flat faces, like pugs, bulldogs and Persians, can’t pant as effectively due to the layout of their airways, so they’re especially at risk of overheating quickly. Overweight and elderly pets are considered high risk as well.

A dog’s temperature’s normally around 100 degrees. If it hits 102, it’s time to get to the vet.

I plan to do a follow up article on dog exposure soon.

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