Driving the westward horizontal stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Philadelphia back to Cleveland much of today involved the need for frequent stops to both intake and outflow caffeine. Although it’s officially 3 days away the day was a preview of summer. The sort of day where heat waves radiate up from the acres of cement at those turnpike rest stops. You know, the waves that generate color if oil slicks are nearby.
I didn’t have my dogs on this trip. But there were others sharing a similar journey in their cars and trucks and vans and many did have canine companions. I was pleased to note, when I paid attention while carefully juggling my iced lattes, that the dogs I saw were kept shaded and offered water.
It’s important to know a few things. The interior of a car heats up fast and furious, even with windows cracked open, so it’s NEVER safe to leave dogs in a car even for a few minutes when it’s hot out. Remember, a hot car is like an oven, with temperatures that can rise an astounding 34°F per minute! Hot asphalt can burn tender paw pads. And last but not least, know the signs of heat stroke and dehydration. Some symptoms include: excessive panting, glassy stare, dizziness, vomiting or collapse. If your pet shows ANY of these symptoms of heatstroke, move it in to a shady area and reduce its temperature by soaking it with cool water and go immediately to seek medical attention.