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JoAnna Lou
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Car Theft
Heat isn’t the only danger for dogs in the car
It might be crowded, but eating in the car is always an option!

People travelling to conformation shows and dog sport trials spend a lot of time on the road, stopping at hotels and restaurants. When weather permits, “dog show people,“ myself included, will sometimes leave the dogs in the car for a short period of time to pack luggage or to eat a meal. Care is taken to make sure the dogs are cool, windows are open, fans are on and shade cloth covers the car, but the heat may not be the only danger in these situations.

Earlier this month a couple was on their way with their three dogs to the Swedish Vallhund National Specialty. While packing their van at the hotel, someone stole the vehicle with the dogs inside. Fortunately the dogs were found safe and sound two days later.

This is certainly not a common occurrence, but I do hear about similar stories from time to time. While it’s best to avoid leaving your dogs in the car unattended, it’s not always possible for those who spend so much time on the road. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to lock the doors when you walk away from the car, even if it’s just for a minute.

When eating out with the dogs in tow, I always choose a restaurant with outdoor seating or a parking lot with ample parking near the entrance. Picking a spot that’s visible from the inside is even better.

Leaving the windows open can make your vehicle a target for theft, so if it’s too hot to close the windows, you may want to consider getting take out and eating it in the car.

Many of us feel safe when traveling to shows, surrounded by fellow dog lovers, but it’s important to not let your guard down.

Do you have any travel safety tips to share?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.
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Submitted by Julia Kamysz Lane | June 29 2010 |

JoAnna, my heart was in my throat when I heard about the Swedish Valhunds. Thank goodness they were found safe & sound. When I go to out-of-state agility shows, my friends often ask me to go out to dinner with them, but I prefer to eat with my dogs for safety's sake. Sometimes, I'm able to borrow my parents' RV & we're on site at the show with other dog people, so I'm not worried if I leave for a moment. If I'm staying in a hotel room, I always eat in the room with them. That said, one of my dogs is an excellent guard dog and can look & sound pretty scary. But I feel better not taking the chance when possible. Sure do miss dinners with my friends, though!

Submitted by Frances | July 1 2010 |

From posts on the main lost dogs site here in the UK this is not uncommon even for non-show dogs, and on short trips. Often the dogs are simply dumped down the road - leaving them at risk from traffic, trains and all the other dangers out there. If I cannot avoid taking my dogs with me I am extremely careful about where I park if I have to leave them for even a few minutes, and not just in hot weather. Whoever invents a truly effective cooling and ventilation system for a stationary car will make a fortune, and gain the everlasting gratitude of many, many dog owners.

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