PhotoHot dogs only take a few minutes on the grill and the four-legged kind only take a few minutes in the car. As the weather heats up, people are out and about more often and it’s fun to tote your dog along for those errands that you think are just innocent quick trips.

But nothing is quick or Ok when you decide to leave your dog in the car to patiently wait for you to come out from whatever you are doing.

It takes only minutes for your pet to face death — and it doesn't have to be that hot out. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 160 degrees. Even with the windows cracked. 

It’s actually a form of cruelty to do this and many states have laws on the books to back it up. Under these laws, police, animal control agents, peace officers and others may be authorized to enter by whatever means necessary to remove the animal. Most likely if they see your dog sitting in the car with its tongue hanging out and panting, they will come in and grab your dog.

Overheated dogs can suffer heat exhaustion, heat stroke or sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias. You can tell your dog is overheated when you see it panting, followed by disorientation and fast, noisy breathing.

If this happens, be careful about giving the dog water because it could easily create bloat. When the dog is so heated that it is panting severely, only let it have a few laps of water. Water in the stomach does not cool the dog, you just need to keep the mouth wet so the panting is more effective.  Once the temp is going down and panting has slowed to more normal panting then allow water.

You can avoid this situation by keeping your dog out of the passenger’s seat on hot days.

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