Sticky seats. Stifling air. We’ve all experienced what the inside of a vehicle feels like on a hot summer day. It can be miserable, to say the least, until the air conditioner kicks in and the interior cools down. 

dog riding in the car

Like you, we love to take our pets with us when we run errands. As more and more stores are becoming pet friendly, it makes it easier than ever to bring our companions along for a day of shopping. Many humans forget that their animal friends can’t safely handle sitting in a vehicle in the heat of the summer. Now that temperatures are rising, it’s time for a reminder! Here are five tips for keeping your pets safe in the car this summer.

1. Know The Law

Did you know that there are 31 states that have laws regarding animals left in vehicles? In some states, it is illegal to leave an animal unattended in a vehicle under dangerous weather conditions. In others, it excuses any person from civil liability if they choose to “rescue” your unattended animal from a vehicle. 

In Pennsylvania, for example, no emergency responder or animal control officer can be held liable for damage to your vehicle when removing a dog or cat that is in danger. Surrounding states have similar laws. Before you travel with Rover and think about leaving them for a spell, not only should you consider their safety, but also make sure it is permissible in your state, and learn the law.

2. Cool It Off

Pennsylvania winters practically require starting the car and warming it up before you take off. Get in the same, but opposite, habit in the summer. Let your vehicle run for a few minutes and turn the air on before making your dog enter the vehicle. Your vehicle may not cool down immediately, but the air conditioner will be ready to roll as soon as you are. Cooling down the interior of your car when the temperatures blaze is a must if you are going to be taking an animal along for the ride.

3. Don’t Assume an Inch of Air Will Make a Difference

You may think that you are doing everything right when you crack the windows before you leave your animal in the car. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Even in cooler summer temperatures, the interior of a vehicle with cracked windows can still reach temperatures of 100 degrees or more. Studies have shown that cracking the windows makes little difference.

4. Consider Investing Cooling Mats

Today’s pet market has some amazing merchandise! One of these items is the cooling mat, and they fit perfectly on the back seat of your car or in the cargo area of your SUV. 

Cooling mats don’t have to be filled with water. They work completely on their own for a certain length of time. Most are perfect for the time your pet will spend in the vehicle. These mats give your dog or cat a cool place to lie down while enjoying the ride. Best of all, no water involved means your vehicle’s interior stays nice and dry while being more comfortable for your furry best friend.

5. Give Frequent Water Breaks

You need to stay hydrated in the summer, and so does your pet! Make sure to take along a jug of water and a collapsible pet bowl, so your animal can have access to cool water when the temperatures soar. Remember, though, that frequent water breaks may lead to the need for an extra potty break or two.

6. Know the Signs of Heat Stroke

Keeping your pet safe in the vehicle means knowing the signs of an overheated animal and what to do if this emergency occurs. An animal that is in distress because of the heat will pant excessively. They may also:

  • Drool
  • Have red gums
  • Vomit
  • Have diarrhea
  • Experience mental dullness
  • Have uncoordinated movements
  • Collapse or lose consciousness

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it’s important to act immediately. Your animal needs to be removed from the hot environment. Offer cool, not cold, water and put a cool, water-soaked towel on their back. Pour or dab rubbing alcohol over the pads of their feet to help draw the heat out. Call your veterinarian, and follow their instructions.

It’s Never Too Hot At Greenlin Pet Resorts

We know that you love to include your pet in everything you do because we feel the same. It’s not always feasible, though, especially on the hottest of hot days. But the temperature is always perfect inside Greenlin Pet Resorts, so why not give your animal a day of pampering while you do the running around?

We offer a variety of services from dog daycare and boarding to training. And yes, we even take puppies! There is something here that both you and your pet will love! Our experienced, highly trained, pet-loving care team would love nothing more than to adore your animal during your busy day. Call one of our five convenient locations, and discover how we can make sure your pet has a fun, safe summer.