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Blogs from May, 2024

dog and woman, both wearing sunglasses, looking out driver's side window

How to keep your beloved dogs from being “hot dogs" AND stay out of jail!

Dog and woman, both wearing sunglasses, looking out driver's side window.

Have you heard this quote by Josh Billings?

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.”

More than 65 MILLION people in the United States own dogs, and those people understand the love of a loyal dog. Bonds that last a lifetime.

If your dog loves you, and you love your dog, you would never put it into danger.

Yet, that’s precisely what people do when they leave a dog in a parked car, an act which is actually a crime in 31 states, including Florida!

Traveling with your furry friends can be a joyous experience, but it's essential to understand the difference between legalities and potential risks involved. Driving with a dog in your car isn’t a problem. Leaving a dog in the car is.

Is it Legal to Take Your Pet in the Car in Florida?

In Florida, there are no specific state laws that prohibit you from taking your pet in the car. However, pet owners must ensure their pet's safety while traveling. Have you ever had to slam on your brakes? (Who hasn’t?) If you’ve experienced a near-accident, you understand how dangerous a sudden stop could be for an animal. If f a pet is not properly secured and gets injured due to abrupt braking or a car accident, the pet owner could face legal consequences, including arrest and fines.

Take Them, But Don’t Leave Them!

While it’s fine to travel with your pets when they’re safely secured, leaving pets unattended in a parked car is considered animal cruelty per Florida law.

You know how hot your car is when you return to it after running an errand or going to an appointment? The first thing you do when you come back is roll down the windows and crank up the air conditioning. Sometimes, the seats are so hot they’re uncomfortable and burn your legs.

If you leave your animal inside the car while you run an errand, the heat can escalate rapidly. Even if you think you’ll only be a few minutes and you’ll crack the windows, you’re endangering your pet. The little bit of air movement (if any) from a couple of windows cracked open doesn’t help.

It’s like sitting in a metal box with a magnifying glass amplifying the heat on a hot summer day.

On a warm day, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket - even with the windows partially open.

On an 80° day, which is a moderate day in Florida, the temperature inside a parked car hits 109 degrees within 20 minutes. In an hour, it will be 123 degrees!

Bodies, whether they are human bodies or dog bodies, can suffer heatstroke or suffocation in hot temperatures.

It’s true. Pets can die in a hot car. In 2023, 163 animals died from being left in hot cars or out in the hot sun. Another 855 were rescued from locked vehicles, and those are just the ones that were reported to agencies!

Police and/or civilian rescues

If you leave your dog in a hot car, don’t be surprised if you come back to your vehicle to find a smashed window or a door that’s jimmied open.

Florida has a Good Samaritan pet rescue law. If someone sees an animal locked in a car and believes that animal to be in danger, that person can break into the car to save the animal without fear of retribution. Other states give the right to law enforcement in addition to or instead of civilians.

Keep your doggie and yourself safe for travel:

Stabilize your pet

Summertime is a great time for adventures with your furry friends. It’s fine to put them into the car and drive to experience the great outdoors and all the adventures that await.

But do it safely.

In case you do have to slam on the brakes, make sure you invest in safety equipment for your dog. Small dogs can ride in enclosed carriers. Dog slings attach to both the front headrests and the backseat headrests and ensure that your dog doesn’t fall off the seat and crash onto the floor. A sling also guarantees that a dog doesn’t fly from the backseat, through the console opening, and into the front dashboard.

Safe and secure

If you secure your pet, you also solve another problem and risk factor: you won’t be distracted.

If an animal is hooked and secured, that means it can’t jump into the front seat, causing the driver to try to bat it away and push it into the backseat. It keeps a pet from crawling onto the floorboards and hampering the driver’s foot movements around the pedals.

Remember, when it comes to our furry friends, safety should always be the top priority. So, the next time you hit the road with your pets, make sure they are properly secured, and never leave them unattended in the car.

ServiceOne Air Conditioning and Plumbing

We here at ServiceOne love our animals. We’re not veterinarians, but we can keep you and your pets cool and comfortable.

We don’t do car air conditioning, but we are experts in keeping homes and businesses air-conditioned. We can keep your beloved dogs from becoming “hot dogs” inside!

Enjoy your summer, with or without your pets, and call us any day of the week!

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