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Cold Cars Pose Danger to Pets

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You know better than to leave Fido in the car when you’re out and about on a hot summer’s day. And even though the season has changed and the temperature has dropped, it’s still not in your pet’s best interest to stay cooped up in a cold car while you run errands.

“You’re already familiar with how a car can rapidly cool down in cold weather; it becomes like a refrigerator, and can rapidly chill your pet. Pets that are young, old, ill, or thin are particularly susceptible to cold environments and should never be left in cold cars. Limit car travel to only that which is necessary, and don’t leave your pet unattended in the vehicle,” reports the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMA).

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A dog left in a cold car can get hypothermic, according to, which notes that cold temperatures affect dogs differently. A short haired dog will definitely get colder faster; dogs who are struggling with medical conditions like kidney or heart diseases will struggle greatly in a cold car; and dogs that don’t regularly embrace the great outdoors for long periods of time, will loathe being trapped inside a potentially freezing car.

The best thing to do in winter is to leave your furry family member at home where it’s safe and warm, but if there is no way around taking your dog with you on an outing and as a result he will be left in the car alone for a very limited time, take measures to ensure his safety and health.

“Bring some blankets to lie down in the car so your dog can burrow down and stay warm and leave your windows cracked to avoid suffocation. You can also look into getting or making an insulated kennel cover that will allow your dog to stay warm, and water to stay liquid while you run to do your errand,” according to

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Always pay close attention to how your pet is acting when he’s been out in the cold. Shivering, anxiety, weakness, slowed movements, and searching for somewhere to burrow are signs of hypothermia, according to the AVMA – get your dog inside and warm ASAP and contact your veterinarian for help.

News Source: American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Family Pet