Dogs love cars. A canine with its head sticking out the open window of an automobile is the epitome of unalloyed joy. There are many reasons. Dogs have 225 million olfactory receptacles. We have 50 million. When a dog goes for an open-air drive, it gets a snoot full of mind-blowing scents. A car ride can also mimic the feel of a hunt. The dog is with its “pack,” and the animals it spies out the window look like prey. Besides, dogs are smart. They can put two and two together. When a dog gets into an automobile it expects good things to happen, such as a trip to the off-leash park.
That’s why it’s so heartbreaking to hear stories about dogs whose owners abandon them in hot vehicles – some dying of heat exposure.
Summer hasn’t hit Canada yet, but there have already been reports of dog owners leaving their pets to suffer inside cars in sweltering conditions. On May 22, a woman in Victoria was fined for leaving her dog in her car for over an hour. The dog/car conundrum seems pretty simple. Don’t leave your dog in the car. And yet, the fact that so many people routinely do so means it may need some clarification. As always, I’m here to help.
Not sure whether you should leave your pooch in your super-heated four-wheel steel death box? Take this quiz and find out.
1Which of the following statements is false?
A. On a 26 Celsius day, the inside of a car can reach 38 Celsius
B. On a 33 Celsius day, the interior can hit 43 Celsius
C. Scientists around the world officially refer to anything above 23 Celsius as “Dogs’ Favourite Temperatures”
2Complete the following sentence: “It is imperative that my dog accompany me when I go shopping because…”
A. He hates being left alone sleeping in a cool house with easy access to water
B. We have a deep bond others do not understand. I rely on him for companionship. He relies on me to leave him in my furnace-like Volvo
C. It’s easier for me. I’m the person at the dog park that even the “dog park” people avoid
D. All of the above
3Which of the following would you be willing to do for your dog?
A. Pay for any medical surgery or treatment she requires regardless of expense
B. Only take vacations that allow me to bring my dog with me
C. Leave my dog to possibly perish in the back seat of my Audi on a 32 Celsius day provided I crack the window a bit – after all, I’ll only be 10 minutes
4I can be in a hot car. Why can’t my dog? Is he a wimp? Select the correct answer
A. Despite the fact you are convinced that your dog has a “favourite song,” human beings and dogs are actually quite different
B. Dogs have a limited ability to sweat (hint: they are covered in fur). They only sweat through their paw pads and regulate their body temperature by panting
C. Dogs do not have opposable thumbs – so opening a car door or operating a mobile device are out
D. All of the above
5Are there any other types of death that are more preventable than leaving a dog in a broiling automobile?
A. Accidentally eating 3,000 nickels
B. Inadvertently cutting your own head off while shaving
C. Unwittingly picking a fight with a wild grizzly while already engaged in a fight with a lion
D. Swimming with a 300-pound weight stapled to your head
E. None of the above
6How quickly can a dog die of heat exposure?
A. 10 minutes
B. 12 minutes
C. 6 minutes
7Surely cracking the window a little bit will help?
A. No, it won't
B. All of the above
Are you dog's best friend?
Answer all of the questions to see your result
Nice work! You realize you should not leave a living, furry creature to roast in a hot car.
You’re the Toronto Maple Leafs of dog ownership – okay, but not destined for greatness.
Maybe consider owning a goldfish, or better yet, a cactus.
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