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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently read some online discussions about leaving pets in your car while you shop, and the people discussing it scared me. One person said that they carry around a window breaker, and if they see a dog in a car on a warm day,they will break in all your windows as a punishment for your stupidity. Almost all the other comments seemed to be of a similar mindset. Does that seem extreme to anyone else? I always leave Biscuit in the car when I have to take him shopping (e.g. when I'm on the way home from a trip and he's with me). I don't want my windows broken in!

This got me thinking: what do you guys do with your dogs while shopping and eating? Some use the car, some pretend their dog is a service dog or get them an ESA vest and take them in (I've done that before. Apologies to those who need service dogs!), some tie their dogs up outside, and some (apparently) are perfect. What other option is there?

Around this time last year, I stopped at Costco on the way home from a trip. It was almost 100 degrees, so I had to take Biscuit in. I didn't claim he was a service dog or an ESA, my only excuse was the heat. No employees questioned me, but one couple in the food court had a real problem with it. The funny thing is that I was seated a few tables away from them, with Biscuit under the table. They didn't know he was there until I got up to leave, and then they started glowering at me. They tried calling to me, but I ignored them. If they couldn't be bothered to walk 15 feet and talk to me up close, they obviously didn't mind Biscuit that much. Clearly, I can't please them all.

So what do you guys do?
 
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Would not leave Samantha in the car, regardless of temperatures, so if we are going somewhere that she can not go, we leave her home, where she is quite comfortable, has the run of the house, fully air conditioned in the summer heated in the winter. If we are going to gone for more than five or six hours, we have a neighbor that will come, either let her outside, or take her to her house until we come home. If we are traveling, we are in our motorhome, so she can stay in that while we are gone for awhile. Again fully air conditioned and heated.
 

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I'm lucky in not having to worry or need to take the dogs with me cos the kids are in their late teens so shopping or bobbing out on errands isn't difficult. If and when I do leave the dogs at home I'll stick the radio on for them to chill out and have a sleep whilst I'm gone.

I've heard and read similar things about people threatening to smash in car windows if they see any dog left inside or they feel it's too hot etc and it started getting daft to where the police issued general advice about what to do if members of public are concerned.

Think if I had to leave them in the car for any reason I would jot a note and leave it in the windscreen to say what time I left the car and expect to be back. That way idiots can't be as keen to smash in any windows and claim genuine concern.

Often see dogs tied up outside shops and stores and it always makes me twitch. Just leave them at home they're far safer at home alone for short periods than at the mercy of whoever happens to be passing that day :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would not leave Samantha in the car, regardless of temperatures, so if we are going somewhere that she can not go, we leave her home, where she is quite comfortable, has the run of the house, fully air conditioned in the summer heated in the winter. If we are going to gone for more than five or six hours, we have a neighbor that will come, either let her outside, or take her to her house until we come home. If we are traveling, we are in our motorhome, so she can stay in that while we are gone for awhile. Again fully air conditioned and heated.
I forgot to say, that's what I do with Biscuit. However, I don't have a neighbor to check in on him (or a motorhome! If I had that, I wouldn't leave him in the car either!), so if I'm going to be gone the whole day I have to take him with me. It's when I have to take him with and shop at the same time that I run into this conundrum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Often see dogs tied up outside shops and stores and it always makes me twitch. Just leave them at home they're far safer at home alone for short periods than at the mercy of whoever happens to be passing that day :(
I wouldn't be able to leave Biscuit outside of a store. I just wouldn't.
 
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We are getting lucky where a lot more big box stores are becoming pet-friendly, posting signs like "Pet Friendly - Don't leave Your Dog in Your Car"

99.9% of my errands are pet related so they can come inside anyway. I leave them home for everything else, it seems really silly to bring them places they can't go.

If I had NO other choice, I remote start my car and leave the AC running, doors locked. My car will run for 10 minutes.
 

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Parly says
Often see dogs tied up outside shops and stores and it always makes me twitch. Just leave them at home they're far safer at home alone for short periods than at the mercy of whoever happens to be passing that day
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I could no more do that to Samantha, than I could to a small child.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We are getting lucky where a lot more big box stores are becoming pet-friendly, posting signs like "Pet Friendly - Don't leave Your Dog in Your Car"

99.9% of my errands are pet related so they can come inside anyway. I leave them home for everything else, it seems really silly to bring them places they can't go.

If I had NO other choice, I remote start my car and leave the AC running, doors locked. My car will run for 10 minutes.
That really is lucky. I wish more stores around where I live encouraged people to bring their dogs inside, but then again, dog pee on the floor of grocery stores doesn't appeal to me. I've had to get creative with taking care of Biscuit, because most of my errands are not pet-related.
 

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It does concern me a little that people are so quick to want to break some ones windows. Its great people want to make sure dogs are safe but there are a lot of factors to consider. If you pass a dog in a car you don't know what the temperature in the car is, if the car and or ac is on, or how long the dog has been in the car/how long they will be in the car. If some one brakes the glass there's also the issue of the dog being injured by the broken glass. And the other thing is, you don't know the dog in the car at all so you don't know how they will react. And in some states its illegal to do this so the person saving the dog could/will get fined (or what ever the law is).
Anyways I have mixed feelings about the hole thing. To some extent when ive seen people talk about this, it seems as if there almost "trigger happy" so to speak to break the glass as soon as they see a dog in a car.
I was reading a post on this kind of topic on FB, and someone's opinion was that you should only break the glass if the dog is obvious/immediate distress, and if not then go in the store and try to find the owner (loud speaker) and or call the police.
Realistically though because this is a problem on both ends, I think there needs to be a better over all protocol and education in place. Just an idea, but I think something that you can stick on you car window that can read the temperature inside the car and how long the dogs been locked in the car might be helpful. Of coarse there are always going to be irisponsible people and or people who don't think who leave their dogs in hot cars, but there are times were responsible people have to leave their dogs in cars for various reasons, and those are the people who make sure their dog is safe and as cool as possible and make sure there only in there as short of a time as possible. Unfortuently just passing a dog in a car, you don't know which kind of owners they are or what the specific circumstances are.

And just on the topic of tying dogs up outside stores, I don't know how people could do that. As someone mentioned, your dog would be subject to any one who passes by. It is also much easier for your dog to get loose, get a hold of something unsafe, and it makes it incredibly easy for someone to steal your dog.
 

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Pax has isolation anxiety and can not be left alone...except in the car. I can lave him for hours there and he is fine. At home, he is dangerously destructive...even in the crate.

Because of that he goes with me everywhere in the car. If the sun is out I leave the windows down enough so that someone COULD reach in and open the door lock if they wanted to be a "hero" vs break a window...but he also has a frightenly massive bark if anyone approaches the car so I am not really worried about him getting snagged,

If it is above 70 degrees and no breeze...it is all about finding parking in the shade. Above that if I can't leave him with neighbor's dog in their back yard or with a friend...it is all about timing strategy for shopping trips...early in the AM or late in the PM once it cools off. A lot of my shopping schedule revolved around him...and when it comes to dogs in cars and heat...a lot of fore thought NEEDS to be put into your schedule if they are going with you.

There are plenty of times that I did not make a pit stop at a store due to heat and having him in the car.
 

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Sorry, I haven't read all the responses/replies, so if this has been asked or answered, my bad.

But my first thought was when reading the original post, was...why are you taking your dog shopping? Why not just leave the dog home?

I have like taken my dog to the vets, or picked them up from the groomers and then swung by a store on my way home to run in quickly and get something. Fortunately, I live in a very crime free itty bitty town and on hot days, I just leave my car running and the air conditioner on for the 5 or 10 minutes I'm in the store.
But otherwise, the dogs stay home when I go downtown.

Stormy
 

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My dog has horrible separation anxiety and is on medication for it. He's a danger to himself and my cats alone at home for too long or too often. He's pulled two air conditioners out of the windows, broken the screens and almost jumped out. My cats could jump or fall out. Staying in a hot apartment with the windows closed while he chews and destroys everything in sight and dumps all the water is a major risk to him and my cats.
So he's in much more danger at home alone and I have no one to watch him. He goes to doggy daycare for work. For errands he either comes in with me or stays in the car with the engine running and the heat or ac on and water. The police and animal control were called once last summer and left and apologized for bothering me once they realized the ac was on. He's very protective and a large dog and won't let anyone near the car or me so anybody trying to break the windows or steal him would probably get bitten and possibly seriously hurt. He sounds very ferocious if anyone approaches the car when we're in it. I use my spare key to leave a set of keys in the engine to keep it running with the ac and radio for him (the behaviorist said music and TV woukd help his anxiety alone especially nature and dog ahows) and I lock him in with the spare key so no one's tempted to try to steal him or the car.
It's much better for him as he wants to be with me all the time and gets so stressed being alone at home. I take him everywhere I can. I did legitimately make him an emotional support dog for my migraines but I don't try to bring him into busy stores and supermarkets. He'd have a field day trying to steal the meat lol.

He's chewed up 5 leashes and is working on his 6th now and was a confirmed runaway and escape artist when I got him. Since I've had him he's jumped out of my car, literally pulled so hard he snapped a leash and ran, opened a door and slipped out of a harness, jumped 2 6 foot fences out of the mspcas dog runs, opened a gate at the dog park, got through a fence several times at the dog park and jumped the baby gate in my apartment to eat the cat food. Plus chewing through all the leashes and taking off and taking out the air conditioners and breaking the window screens. Before I got him he escaped out of a crate and flips out if you lock him in one. He also hates larger unneutered male dogs and some large tall men with hats and barks. No way is he safe or containable tied up unsupervised. He'd be gone as soon as he chewed through his leash, which he can do in less than 5 minutes.
Luckily he doesn't usually run away anymore and his recall has drastically improved. I even walk with him loose in certain settings and he stays with me. Bacon treats and lots of praise work wonders.
Everything I've read or seen on the news or Facebook about this says people who are concerned should call 911 or the police and not break the windows themselves but wait for the authorities or try to find the owner. It's illegal and they can and will be arrested and also personally responsible for recompensating the owner financially for the property damages they cause. And I'd think if the dog is fine and happy in an air conditioned vehicle and they injure it by breaking the window with glass shards they'd also be responsible for the vet bills. I'd press charges to the fullest extent of the law and Sue for all I could if they stressed out my dog and hurt him and damaged my car that I need. People need to manage their own lives and not. Interfere with responsible loving pet owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry, I haven't read all the responses/replies, so if this has been asked or answered, my bad.

But my first thought was when reading the original post, was...why are you taking your dog shopping? Why not just leave the dog home?
In my case, I live kinda in the middle of nowhere. If I'm going to the local grocery (5 minute drive), I'll leave Biscuit home. If I'm going to Safeway or Walmart (15 minute drive), I'll leave Biscuit home. If I'm going to Fred Meyer (30 minute drive) I'll either take Biscuit to get groomed while I shop or leave him home. If I take him with, his grooming sometimes takes less time then my shopping does. In which case, he usually stays with the groomer until I can pick him up.

Now, here's the doozy: if I'm going to the 'big city' (1 hour - 1 1/2 hour), I'm going to shop big. Outlet stores, Costco, etc., I just make a day of it. That's when I have to take Biscuit with, because I'm his caregiver. If I leave him home, he won't eat or drink due to mild separation anxiety, and he also won't get any bathroom breaks. It's better for everyone if he comes with, because he gets to drink water and pee (at least. If we're gone all day, he also gets lunch). This does require leaving him in the car while I shop, but there's no one to take care of him at home!

I'm currently going through a move to a bigger city (population 9,700 instead of 2,300 - over 6,000 more people!) so I'll be closer to amenities. That means that Biscuit should be able to stay home much more often, but for now, he sometimes has to come with.

That's just my reason. Others shared that their dogs are less anxious in the car than at home.

I'm looking forward to shopping 'downtown' in the near future. I'll admit, I'm a bit jealous of you. ;)
 

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I leave my dog in the car. Depends on the weather, & circumstance.
Sometimes I leave myself in the car (I carpool) so I know what it feels like.
So yesterday, it was rainy, very warm, I had multiple stops--not fun for a dog--dog stays home.
In the evening, my husband goes for friday night take-out & takes the dog along for a ride.
On camping trips we'll be adjust what we do for the weather--take turns going in if it's super hot, make it quick if it's warm, have a sit down meal if it's cool.
& it's preferred seating in crappy weather--hates rain...
 
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I don't take my dogs anywhere that they're not allowed inside. When we travel with them, we use pet-friendly hotels/motels. I don't take them to big-box stores, simply because I don't want to try and manage a cart full of purchases, a sixty-pound dog, and everyone who wants to pet her.

As far as separation anxiety goes, the best solution I know is to leave the dog with a neighbor or simply get a second dog.
 

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Do some reading about separation anxiety. The behaviorist I consulted with gave me all kinds of helpful materials to read and actually was the head of tufts veterinary medicine until he recently retired. He wrote a book on dog behavior and specialized in separation anxiety.
The dog is overly bonded to their one or two owners and gets distressed to the point of physical distress if separated at all. It is most common in labs and German Shepherd which my dog is a mix of. And dogs who were not socialized when young and given up by multiple owners and put in shelters when young are most at risk. My dog to a tee.
They strongly recommend not getting a second dog as it won't help at all. My dog has cats for company and he could care less. The dog will just be jealous and still pine for its owner. If I leave the dog park even to get something from my car for a second, my dog will instantly stop playing and race to the gate and watch until I get back. This is an improvement from frantically running the fence barking and whining and climbing the fence.
He has people he loves and knows well, if I leave him with them in public just to use the bathroom, he stops all interactions and sits staring at where I left until I return. He won't take commands or listen to anyone except me. He wont even go for a walk with someone he knows and loves and leave me without frantically looking back at me a million times and trying to drag them back to me. Even now that he's better, I can leave him alone all day with no destruction or barking but he won't eat or drink a single thing all day until I get home. Then he's ecstatic, I get the happiest reunion ever and he inhales all his food and treats and gulps down a ton of water.
I couldn't inflict a large stressed out dog who won't listen and is clearly distressed on a random neighbor or a friend. The larger German Shepherd I know at the dog park who's my dogs buddy is the same way. I watched her at the park for her owner once and she sat miserable and wouldn't play with my dog who she loves or any other dog or look at any people. She knows me so she did lean on me and let me pet her and ate some treats from me, which is much better than my dog.

So "getting another dog" woukd solve nothing and leaving him with someone would still cause him great distress. And I'm not rich enough to put him in doggy daycare every time I spend a day with him and incorporate a few errands. So please learn about separation anxiety and how awful it really is for dogs before you minimize it with suggestions that won't help. Getting a second dog is a huge emotional and financial commitment, not one to be made lightly or for the wrong reason as suggested.
 

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Do some reading about separation anxiety. The behaviorist I consulted with gave me all kinds of helpful materials to read and actually was the head of tufts veterinary medicine until he recently retired. He wrote a book on dog behavior and specialized in separation anxiety.

Interesting. Can you post or message me a link to the book and to the reading materials on separation anxiety?
 

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But my first thought was when reading the original post, was...why are you taking your dog shopping? Why not just leave the dog home?
Sorry, but that response is like saying to a person suffering from depression "just feel happy"...it is not that easy for a lot of folks as there can be underlying issues we are dealing with beyond just wanting our dogs to travel with us.

Dogs that suffer from isolation/separation anxiety sometimes can not just be "left at home". Trust me, we are working on it and I wish I could just toss him in my back yard for days on end like my neighbor's dog, but that is not always in the cards.
 

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His name is Dr Nicholas Dodman from Tufts Veterinary medicibe. The movie The Secret Life of Pets that came out last year was based on his book or related to it somehow and there was a cbs early morning Sunday show about the topic where he did an assessment of a dog with awful separation anxiety and its owner. That episode aired on October or early November 2016 I believe. There was another behaviorist also on the show, I'm forgetting her name. If you do a Google search for Nicholas Dodman I'm sure the book and any articles he wrote will come up. He's very knowledgeable and helpful. One of the many pamphlets he gave me specifically said don't get another dog and expect it to help the problem, or my cats either. I don't remember if he said that on the TV episode or not.
He also told me to do whatever I could to keep my dog safe and that many dogs were actually happier left in cars than at home because there were so many stimuli in the environment to see and keep them busy. Theres cars, people and other dogs walking by, joggers, bikes and all kinds of things to distract them and usually they know their owners are coming back pretty quickly, as long as you leave the air conditioning or heat on so they don't get sick from extreme heat or cold.

So he's a medical vet and behaviorist and he agreed it was the best thing for my dog rather than keeping him in a hot apartment where he won't eat or drink and chewed and ate things out of stress that were dangerous and could cause a medical emergency. If a dog is more independent at home, then by all means leave it at home. Just don't assume that every owner is negligent who leaves their dogs in the car. I spent over a year and a lot of money and trial and error with different medications to be able to safely leave my dog at home at all without hurting or killing himself or my cats who I also love.
My dog is also very sensitive to basically all the fast acting tranquilizers they usually use in combination with antidepressants for separation anxiety. These are usually anti anxiety benzodiazepines like ativan, klonopin, or clonidine that people take for debilitating panic attacks. They're supposed to take two hours to kick in and then last four more hours so the person has to get home within six hours, good luck on a work day with a commute. Otherwise the dog wakes up and can freak out. And you feel very guilty drugging and knocking out your dog so he's a zombie and staggering and can barely walk. But the 4 different medications I tried all had a paradoxical effect and after 12 hours were still affecting him. He became extremely hyper and aggressive and barely controllable to even walk a few feet to the car. He'd overreact to any little trigger and would be so sensitive that normal playing with his dog buddies turned into him attacking every dog he saw. There was no calming him down or working with him. I had to put him in doggy daycare one time and they said for a full day and a half he was so crazy hyper and not able to respond to normal social cues from his dog friends they had to separate him in a small room for his own safety and they begged me never to give him that medicine again. From an introductory half dose. This dog normally loves other dogs and isn't aggressive but plays quite well. The behaviorist explained it as a paradoxical disinhibitory effect and that he basically turned into a large angry drunk. Four different medicines in similar classes but also a different class and one sleep med got that reaction. The only thing I could do was take him home turn out the lights and have him on the bed with me and pet him and talk to him til he fell asleep and keep him quiet for 2 days.

So after going through all that and a ruined first apartment and all his progress but still a lot of anxiety at being away from me, I'll stick to what works. He needs baby steps and reacts very strongly when overwhelmed. He had a rough start in life. People can judge all they want I never risk him being overheated and take the best care possible of all my animals. I also learn all I can about their issues and conditions and the best and least traumatic ways to help them. If getting another dog would have helped him I would have considered it.
 
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