Any good pet parent knows to never leave a dog in a car on a hot day. Dogs left in hot cars can experience heat stroke and can even die from the rising and suffocating temperatures. But there are other mishaps that might happen if dogs are left unsupervised in cars.
According to CNN, a pet parent in West Virginia left her two dogs in her running car while she made a quick trip into the grocery store. But the canines somehow put the car in gear and slowly ran the automobile into a storefront before being stopped by a concrete pillar. Luckily, the dogs and bystanders weren't hurt in the accident.
While this scenario could have had a worse outcome, it serves as yet another reminder of why dogs shouldn't be left in cars alone—even for short periods of time.
"There are multiple reasons not to leave a dog in a car that is running," Dr. Marcus Smith of the Chattahoochee Animal Clinic tells petMD. "Many dogs have separation anxiety when their pet parents leave them, which can cause frenzy-like behavior and may result in an inadvertent movement of the the gear shifter."
Smith also warns that this anxiety-filled behavior may cause a pet to destroy the interior of a car and even ingest pieces of a seatbelt or car fabric, which could lead to an obstruction of the dog's gastrointestinal tract.
Another sobering reminder from Smith: "We cannot forget that cars left running are a car thief's dream, and you may not only lose your car but your furry best friend by leaving the vehicle running with keys in the ignition."
If there isn't a person available to watch your dog in a running car while you conduct errands, Smith explains that the best course of action is to simply leave the dog at home. "I never recommend leaving a dog in a car in any situation," he says.
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