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#General      #Health      

Here’s why you shouldn’t leave your dog in the car, hot or cold

        We are told all summer that dogs don’t belong in hot cars, but those warnings tend to taper off once it turns cold. Sure, hot cars are known to be a huge no-no for dogs, but did you know that cold cars can be just as dangerous? It doesn’t take as long as people assume for a car to cool down, and not much longer for your dog to affected by the cold, even if only cold for a few minutes.  

 

        Just like humans, animals can only tolerate the cold for so long. This, of course, varies from animal to animal. Some animals are more apt to handle the cold weather with heavier coats, body fat, etc., but many animals, especially domesticated ones, are not as readily accepting of the cold temperatures. Some people assume that because coyotes and wolves can handle the cold, so can their German Shepherd. The problem with this is that German Shepherds (and any other breed of dog that is domesticated) is just that: domesticated. These are dogs that are usually in the same conditions that we put ourselves. If you live in an area that isn’t constantly cold year round, then your pet probably isn’t used to the chilly temps. Make sure you are aware of your dog’s limits in the cold. Walks may be cut short, and leaving a dog in a car is not acceptable. “It’s not like they’ll freeze that quickly.” No, they won’t be stiff when you get back in the car, but in the 10 minutes you were inside the warm store, the car got cold. Now your dog has chilled, and has a puppy cold. What if that turns into a puppy flu?  

 

        Sure, dogs should certainly not be left in hot cars, but the same is true for cold cars. Any extreme temperatures can cause harm to a dog. Some dogs are even more susceptible due to physical attributes. For instance, thinner dogs, older dogs, short-haired dogs, and puppies may be put at even more risk if left in the cold for any amount of time. The best rule of thumb is to limit car rides when it is an option. Don’t leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. If it is an emergency, or something happens and you do leave your pet in a car, be sure to properly check on it when necessary. If your pooch begins to show signs of being sick, take them to a veterinarian immediately and explain what happened.  

 

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