Quandary: Dogs, cars and heat just don’t mix
How hot is too hot to leave a dog in the car?
Dear Hot Mama,
If you’re asking, chances are it’s too hot. Let’s be real for a minute here, we live in one of the most dog-friendly places in the country. Your pooches are more pampered than a Kardashian at the Ritz Carlton, so there aren’t many good reasons to leave your pup in the lurch. After all, most places up here allow you to take your dog along — from ranching stores to restaurants there are plenty of places for Fido to find friends.
Walk down the main streets of most of Summit’s towns and you’ll see water bowls littering the sidewalk in front of most businesses as well. This means the chances are good that your dog can spend most of the day with you. That doesn’t mean you should just assume your dog is welcome though — we’ve all seen a Yorkie sitting in a grocery cart, and lets face it, at that point no one is going to like you or your dog very much. So try to be considerate — a novel idea, I know — and think about whether anyone will be horrified to see your pup waltzing in. Chances are you already know where he is or isn’t welcome — dog hair with your dentist’s appointment, anyone?
So take a realistic look at your day and figure out if your pup can make all your outings or if it is best to just leave him at home for one day. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
Also, be aware people love dogs up here. If you do your doggie wrong, someone is going to call you on it. Be prepared, or better yet, don’t put yourself in the situation in the first place.
Before leaving Fluffy to be your getaway driver while you run into the bank, let’s look at the numbers and see just how fast those minutes and degrees can add up. Did you only plan to leave the precious one for 10 minutes? Well, if the temperature is a lovely 70 degree Fahrenheit outside and you leave a window cracked for your beast of burden, even in a partially shaded area, the temperature inside your car can rise to 89 degrees in those 10 minutes. Was the line a little longer than anticipated? After 20 minutes your car has darn near hit the century mark at 99 degrees. And if that teller is just way too chatty and you have lots of complaints, the interior of your car will rise to a hellish 113 in just one hour according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. These temperatures can quickly lead to dehydration — even if you leave (warm) water waiting with the dog — which can then lead to heat stroke, meaning a miserable pup, possible vet bills and if the world was just, a cone of shame for you.
I tell you what, if these numbers don’t convince you, or there’s a day you think it’s worth the risk, grab a fur coat and try sitting in your car for that same amount of time, then see how good you feel.
Quandary, an old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to any question about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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