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Most dog owners know that you can’t leave a pet in a hot car. Temperatures can rise to dangerous levels in just minutes, putting your dog at risk of heat stroke. But what if you slightly open a window? The answer is simple: you should NEVER leave a dog alone in the car, even with the windows cracked. In some states, it’s even illegal.

Why Cracking a Window Isn’t Enough

It doesn’t have to be super hot outside for your car to heat up. The inside of a vehicle parked in 70-degree weather can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes. On very hot days, temperatures inside parked cars can climb to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in under an hour.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), studies have shown that cracking a window changes these figures very little. A parked car with the windows cracked heats up at almost the exact same rate as a car with the windows rolled up, putting pets in serious danger.

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Car Safety

All dogs are susceptible to heat stroke. Heat intolerant brachycephalic breeds (dogs that have a relatively broad, short skull), such as Pugs and Bulldogs, however, could suffer negative effects sooner than other breeds. If you know you’ll have to be on the road with your dog, make plans to travel with another adult who can remain in the vehicle with him while the air conditioner is running. This will keep him safe, and it will also reduce the risk of your dog jumping out of an open window at a rest stop or in a parking lot.

Hundreds of pets die from car-related heat stroke each year. The issue is so important that 27 states have laws about pets that are left unattended in vehicles. Some laws ban the practice outright, while others protect law enforcement officers and citizens if they break into cars to rescue pets.

As summer gets underway, the risk of heat stroke, both in and outside of cars, grows. Stay on top of high temperatures with the AKC Link collar. This smart collar sends you an alert when your dog is exposed to temperatures that are either too hot or too cold for him, helping you keep him safe, no matter where he is.

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Emergency First Aid for Dogs

Even the most responsible pet owner can't always protect their pet from a sudden accident or illness. Getting your pet immediate medical attention can be the difference between life and death. Download this e-book to learn more about what to do in an emergency situation.
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