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How to avoid killing your dog

First, happy birthday to the witty, beautiful, sarcastic Mr. Lady! I won’t tell her secrets by telling you how old she is, but it rhymes with shmirty-shmix. She’s one bad-ass Lady and one gorgeous Mister. Happy birthday, Shannon.

Second, and I think it’s ridiculous that I would have to mention this, but do NOT leave your dog in a car and run into the store. EVER.

I say this because yesterday, I stopped at Walgreens. A car pulled up beside me at the same time I got out. When I came out, about 5 minutes or so later, I realized that there was a small terrier sitting all the way in the back, behind the back seat, in the car next to me. All of the windows were rolled up. There was a slight breeze, but my phone said that the temperature was 80 degrees.

I told myself that I would give it five minutes, and if nobody had come to the car by then, I was going to go into Walgreens and have them make an announcement, and if that didn’t produce anyone, I would call the cops. If necessary, I was prepared to break one of his windows.

At this point, the dog was not panting, but I wasn’t willing to wait for it to become an emergency. Right as my self-imposed five minute deadline ended, an old man came out of the store and walked towards the car. I talked to him briefly and explained that he could cause serious injury to his dog if he had been in the store for longer than he expected, and that he needs to be careful not to do that ever again.

His response to me was curt: “I’ve been doing it for ten years and ain’t had no issues.”

I said, as he was getting into his car. “It only takes one time for it to become tragic.” He harumphed and started to pull the door shut, but I said, “One more thing.” He waited and looked at me. “I come here on a pretty frequent basis, and I’m going to guess that you shop here frequently, too (He had a prescription in his hand). I will make it a point to look for your car, and if I ever see your dog locked inside like that again, first I will break every single one of your windows, and secondly, I will come into Walgreens and drag you outside and hold you here until the cops arrive. Try me.”

This is common sense, yet animals die all the time due to overheating. Even if there’s a nice breeze out, the inside of your car can reach lethal temperatures for a dog within 30 minutes or less. Leaving a window cracked may provide a small amount of respite, but it will only prolong the inevitable and is NOT an acceptable solution. If you absolutely have to leave your dogasd in a car while you go into the store, there are a few things you can do:

1. Open the windows all the way. This will allow the dog to get out of the car if it gets too hot, where he or she can find shade and cool down.

2. Leave your car running with the AC on.

3. Make sure your dog has a large bowl of water in your car, and leave all of your windows open to a significant degree.

Even these options aren’t ideal, and they should only be used in case of an emergency.

Also, don’t leave your baby in a car. Because that’s even worse.

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27 Replies to “How to avoid killing your dog”

  1. Lynda

    I’m guilty of leaving my dog. I didn’t use to at all. Now, I only leave my dog in the car if it’s above 40 and below 70 degrees, or if my boyfriend is waiting in the car with the dogs. Now that I have moved, I have been extra careful in the desert because it’s so dry here, and usually prefer to leave her at home.

    Now sometimes we just go drive around because she gets cabin fever. And with some of the crap I’ve been going through lately, I’m happy to have a car companion when I need to go out. But when it gets hot, that’s going to end.

  2. Employee No. 3699

    While reading this post all I could think of was the stupid fucks who leave children in the car with similar conditions. Obviously it is worse to do with kids, but you get the same outcome with animals. These morons need to realize if they wouldn’t subject themselves to something, they shouldn’t subject anyone or anything else to it either.

    Oh, and a big happy birthday shout out to Mr. Lady!

  3. Lisa

    I hate to see dogs locked in cars on warm days, even with the windows cracked. I won’t take my dogs anywhere in the summer if I have to leave the car for any length of time at a place they can’t go inside. Besides, every time I leave the one that actually likes riding in the car (the other one hates it) she cries like she’s being killed. Because of course I have a drama dog. Of course.

  4. Breigh

    Good for you! People don’t realize that it only takes that ONE time where you get sidetracked and then there’s no turning back.
    I have only ever left our dogs in the car once, two summers ago when we were camping and had to go to the nearby village to pick up food. It was September and not all that warm, but we still had the windows cracked and were in the shop for 10-15 minutes tops, and even then I was freaking out because I was so uncomfortable with it. I couldn’t imagine leaving a poor dog in that heat without even a cracked window.
    If you ever do see his car with the dog locked in it again, be sure to carry through with your threats!

  5. Wendy S.

    Good for you to say what you did to someone completely ignorant…I get infuriated when people do things like that, especially to animals. If I see a parent in public hitting or yelling at their kids in an abusive way, I say something to them as well. I wish more people were like you…

  6. Hockeymandad

    If cops do catch schmoes like this, they get arrested. I’ve seen it on TV. I often wonder though, why the hell couldn’t the dog just stay home? Why does the dog need to make a quick run to the CVS. I think if you asked it, the dog would say “No thanks, I’m good here in the AC on this here comfy couch. I’ll see you in a few minutes.” I say if you wanna take your dog for a drive, do just that. Go for a ride. Maybe stop somewhere you can go with the dog.

    If children though, instant police call.

  7. Zakary W.

    I have called the cops on a woman before that left her five year old locked in the car at the grocery store. The kid was crying in the backseat and it was at least 85 degrees. You did the right thing telling off that cranky bastard.

    Also, Happy Birthday to Mr. Lady! I would not recommend locking her in a car either, she would beat your ass.

  8. Elizabeth @ Table for Five

    Good for you for telling him point blank that you will break his windows and you will drag him out of the store for the cops to deal with if you see his car there again with the dog in it and the windows rolled up. I hope he remembers your words next time he parks anywhere with his dog in the car. After I read that my first thought was “damn, Adam is pretty bad ass” 🙂

  9. Stacey

    I also get stressed out that most people let their dogs walk around their cars loose. If there was ever an accident, the poor animal would get thrown around (or out of) the vehicle, or may run off and get injured on the road. So many people do it that I wonder if I worry too much, but I ALWAYS use a seat belt harness for my dog.

  10. Blondefabulous

    Ugh! I don’t leave my KIDS in the car, let alone my baby boy puppy snouggles! I don’t understand how people can even do that. It’s not just “s dog”, it’s a living, breathing animal with feelings and such! Good for you!

  11. Neeroc

    Good for you for confronting him. Any driver who thinks that’s okay needs to sit in a closed car in the blazing sun for 20 minutes.

    I’d never, ever do that in the summer, but I’ve left my dog in the car to go in for convenience store trips (in our 9 months of winter) and I always have this feeling of guilt/that someone will think it’s too cold for my dog. Because you know they will, only he’s a husky.

  12. Elizabeth Kaylene

    I don’t understand at all why some people bring their pets everywhere. I live across from a deli and almost every day, some idiot leaves their dog tied up outside of it. The dog howls and howls and cries. It’s probably more likely that this moron is in the package store next to the deli, but it makes me crazy. Leaving a pet or child in a hot car is by far worse, but I don’t understand why people feel the need to take their pets everywhere with them. Let the dog stay home, in the house or yard, while you’re out.

  13. Lora

    It’s also illegal in Florida. And such a problem that it was detailed in every damned Florida travel guide I looked at. It was listed in the “house rules” posted at the house I stayed in. In a gas station bathroom.

  14. Lora

    My punctuation was off, and I hit send accidentally when my boss walked over. That should say “… house I stayed in, a gas station bathroom, and even at Disney. Oh, and Gatorland”

  15. Sarah

    Leaveing a dog in a car is not that bad people do it all the time and on ly when the dog has no water and the windows rolled up have dogs dies. My friend has a dog she takes shopping with her and when she goes in places she rolls the windows half down and leaves a bowl of water and a battery powered fan in the car with the dog that dog is the healthiest dog I have ever seen! So people stop your complaining. I mean if the windows r rolled up sure worry about it and speak up and if it’s a young kid who can’t get out on their own speak up but dog with water and windows rolled down stop your worrying! Also I am a veternarian and love my animals but this is one subject I hate when people freak out so much about it! If the dog I half dead sure call the cops or break a window otherwise shut ur mouths!

    • Clown

      @Sarah, You’re either stretching the truth and work in a vet’s office cleaning stalls or you’re flat out lying.

      You need schooling to be a vet. You obviously have none. Or, maybe you’ve learned to type with your toes. In that case, your message wasn’t as poorly written. Well done!

      • Sarah

        @Clown, Nope, the truth is the truth. My friend loves her dog and takes her everywhere with her. I am a vet and I do clean stalls but I also do the heath checks and surgerys to. Another thing, a car with its windows all the way down gets no hotter than if the dog was outside. Like I people just worry to much now.

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