Now that the super hot days of summer have arrived, I wanted to remind people not to leave their pet in a hot car. A lot of people think that their pet may suffer from separation anxiety if they leave them at home and that a few minutes in the car can’t hurt them. But think about this, if you wouldn’t leave a young child or a senior citizen with breathing problems in a sweltering hot car, then why would you leave your dog, cat, rabbit or other pet in the car? A car’s windows are basically like a magnifying glass for the sun. Even in the shade or with the windows open, the heat inside a car can quickly climb to an unbearable temperature. Take a look at the chart below to see how hot it can get in a car. The only way you could leave an animal in the car is if someone else is with the animal and has the air conditioning running. Otherwise, leave your animal at home where they will be more comfortable and have access to food and water. Every year I hear sad stories about animals dying from heat stroke due to being locked in a car during the summer time. It’s gotten so bad in some cities that the police will break into a car to rescue the animal if someone reports it. It always saddens me to hear about these deaths when they can be easily prevented with a little forethought.
Here is some good news for you though. Some businesses are now getting more pet friendly. An Ikea store in Cologne, Germany has a dog parking lot where you can leave your leashed dog with some water. Also, some Ikea stores in Japan allow small dogs and cats in the store if they are in carry bags. I’m glad to see that some malls in my city allow animals inside as long as the animal doesn’t enter a place where food is prepared. For those living in the USA, here’s a listing of pet friendly malls in the country. Note that guide dogs however, are supposed to be allowed everywhere their owner goes.
So think twice before you bring your pet shopping with you on a hot summer day. If you’re on foot and the store doesn’t allow pets, put them in the shade and leave a bowl of water for them. If it looks like you’ll be in the store for longer than you expected you can always come back another day. Remember that a lot of stores now offer delivery to your home so you don’t always have to go out to do your shopping.