Is Leaving the Dog in the Car Abusive?

Any driver knows that the inside of a parked car gets hot really fast on a warm day and chills up really fast on a cold day.  No human wants to sit in a hot or freezing car for an extended period of time, so why do we force our dogs to do it?

Every year, countless dogs die after being locked in cars while their owners are out and about, working, shopping, visiting, or running errands.  Most of these deaths are attributed to heat strokes, so the majority of deaths occur during the summer.  A car traps heat like a greenhouse, so leaving your dog in the car for only 2 minutes on a sunny 70-degree day could easily kill him.  The best way to avoid this is to never, ever leave your dog in the car.

If you’re anything like me, you feel disturbed every time you see a dog sitting alone in a parked car, even with the windows cracked open.  It’s illegal to leave a dog alone in a car in Illinois, as well as some other states, but people still do it.  I’d always find a dog staring at me through a cracked-open window in a parked car on any given day in Chicagoland.  Now that I’ve moved to Colorado, where no animals in parked cars laws exist, I see dogs in cars everywhere!  It’s really scary how a lot of people aren’t aware of how dangerous leaving their dog in the car is.

To answer the title of this post, yes, leaving the dog in the car is abusive.  If you do it, you’re endangering your dog’s health.  It doesn’t matter how perfect the weather is.  Leaving your car parked in the shade on a breezy day can still kill your dog.  Did you know that, on days where the temperature is over 70 degrees, a car’s internal temperature raises by an average of 40 degrees within 30 minutes?  If it’s 70 degrees outside, your car will get as hot as 110 degrees!  Would you want to subject your dog (who has a furry coat) to such extreme heat?

I’m sure that a lot of dog owners would never dream of putting their dog through such torture.  The problem is, a lot of them do it because they’re unaware of how dangerous it can be.  It’s up to us animal lovers to spread the word as much as possible.  There’s this website called My Dog Is Cool that helps people spread awareness about the dangers of leaving a dog in a car.  They have fliers you can print out, and they have a lot of information available should you ever come across a dog trapped in a car.  They also created a video that illustrates how hot a car can get within a short period of time:

Does your state have a law that protects animals left in parked cars?  Find out here!

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