Keeping the car cool before we leave the campsite with silver mesh reflector
With the heat we have been experiencing this summer, I’ve recently bought a couple of items to help keep the car cooler for my young dog. I use these before I set off to reduce the temperature and also for very brief periods if I have to leave my dog in the car (but checking every few minutes that she is comfortable).
You do of course have air-con which can be left on when the ignition is off (but it will burn up battery power and your air-con will also have to work harder in a warmer car) so the other items purchased will help further still.
The Vent Lock
The first item I bought, recommended by a friend and fellow trainer, Nicky, who competes in agility and so does need to leave her dogs in the car, is the clever little gadget which allows your boot to be left open (a variety of sizes and so lengths of gap available). This allows more air flow through the car and so results in a cooler car.
When you are locking the boot closed you need to screw the vent lock into place and ensure it is in a vertical position so that the car lock can click over the top. If you leave it horizontal then the boot cannot latch onto it.
With regard to removing the vent lock, I had difficulties at first but discovered the way to do this is to hold the boot and pull it as far as you can towards you before using your key to unlock the boot. Once you do this then the boot releases immediately. Practise this before you put your dog in the boot!
Please note that if using a vent lock with your dog in the boot area but without your dog being crated you must make sure that the gap created is safe for the dog. That is, so that he or she cannot escape or get stuck trying! Also it is advisable to only use a short vent lock in a public place – so that the less intelligent and honest of our own species are not tempted to put their hands in! Even the best natured dog may react aggressively to this sort of behaviour so please be aware that even with the shortest vent lock that fingers could be put in the boot.
Silver Shade Mesh Reflector
The other item I bought is the silver shade mesh reflector (www.theanimalarm.com/product/silver-shade-mesh-tarppanel). This is a reflector – but with a difference – in that because it is a mesh, it has plenty of room for air to flow through, so keeping the vehicle cooler than the cheaper more solid reflectors. Not cheap at £75 for a size to cover most of a medium-sized car but well worth it.
A padlocked Crate
To allow even more air flow, use a secure crate in the boot and padlock your dog into this, which means you can leave the boot open or, even better, use with a larger size vent lock (as above)). When padlocking your dog in please ensure you remember the code, or if a key type that you have a spare key. Barjo are a well-known quality provider of dog crate products.
Also note that boots left open with padlocks are really only suitable for places which are a lower risk environment (eg agility shows where everyone looks out for each other and where access to dogs is not open to the general public) or where you are supervising your dog (eg for myself, whilst putting up my tent next to the car).
Don’t forget to try to find a place in the shade and consider how the sun will be moving around to ensure your car remains in the shade for as long as possible.
Even better than leaving your dog in the car, get some help with training to ensure you have a well mannered and happy dog which you can take everywhere with you. Please call me (07752 427804) or contact me through my website for help with training.
DOGS DIE IN CARS – THESE PRODUCTS ONLY REDUCE THE TEMPERATURE BUT CANNOT BE GUARANTEED TO KEEP THE CAR COOL ENOUGH TO LEAVE A DOG FOR LONG.
DOGS CAN DIE WITHIN A FEW MINUTES IN AN OVER-HEATED CAR – PLEASE CHECK UP ON YOUR DOG CONSTANTLY AT SHORT INTERVALS.
AS ABOVE, DOGS CAN BE STOLEN FROM CARS SO EVEN IF YOU PADLOCK YOUR DOG IN THE CAR, YOU ARE STILL TAKING A RISK BY LEAVING YOUR DOG IN THE CAR ALONE SO PLEASE BE VERY CAUTIOUS.
HAVE A BOWL OF CLEAN FRESH WATER AVAILABLE TO YOUR DOG AT ALL TIMES.
© 2017 Sally Bartlett