It’s heating up so it’s the perfect time to refresh our memories about pet safety in these warm summer months. California Penal Code § 597.7 states, “A person shall not leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.”
Please don’t leave your dog in a hot car or if you have a Tesla please turn dog mode on. But be advised that this penal code, “does not prevent a person from taking reasonable steps that are necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle if the person holds a reasonable belief that the animal’s safety is in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.“
The best practice is not to leave your dog unattended in a public space especially when temperatures are extreme. According to Anne Burke of the American Kennel Club, ” Dogs rely on panting to control most of their temperature regulation…They also rely on vasodilation to help them cool off, which is the expansion of blood vessels, especially in their ears and face.” Because dogs’ sweat glands are located in their paw pads they don’t utilize sweating as a primary body temperature regulator. This is why dog groomers typically don’t advise shaving a double coated dog to keep them cool for the summer. Dog fur acts like insulation, just like in your home. The coat is an insulating barrier to keep dogs cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This is why it is especially important to be mindful of your dogs’ environment as we approach these hot summer days and nights.
TLDR: be mindful of how hot your dog(s) environment is as we get into the hot hot summer months. Be aware California has laws about leaving your pet unattended in a vehicle if it threatens the pet(s) life.