On keeping your dog safe and healthy in your car or truck...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 01, 2004

Dear Tom and Ray:

I would like to commend you on the information about leaving dogs in a truck. It seems like a little common sense combined with your advice will be an admirable solution. I would propose, however, that instead of using a standard collar-leash setup to prevent sudden canine departure, your reader should use a harness-leash setup. That way, if the worst happens and the dog gets halfway out, then he doesn't instantly hang himself. Love your show! -- CJ

RAY: Another good idea. Several weeks ago, we answered a letter from a woman who wanted to know how to safely leave her dog in a vehicle while she does her errands. If you missed it, you can find it online at our Web site, www.cartalk.com.

TOM: For you dog lovers out there, don't worry; we included plenty of safety warnings! But our readers have had many more ideas:

Dear Tom and Ray:

You had a column where a person was willing to do quite a bit to keep a dog safe and comfortable in a vehicle when she has to leave the vehicle. One other thing could be done to help: Insulate the truck cover. This will provide even more relief from heat buildup. You said to put in a rug to keep the heat from coming off the truck bed, as metal conducts heat. But the roof and side walls also conduct heat. I really enjoy your columns. I'm not much of a car person, other than liking to drive, but you are both interesting, funny and informative -- a great combination to keep our attention and give us information. -- Barbara

Dear Tom and Ray:

You did a service by alerting Deby and other pet owners to the grave risk of heatstroke to a dog, cat or other animal when leaving it in a car in hot weather, even with the windows partially open. However, your advice to Deby to put her dog, leashed, in the cap of her pickup truck and leave the tailgate open ignores the very real danger of theft, particularly if the animal appears to be purebred. Dognapping is a widespread problem, whether the purpose is to resell the animal through a pet store or other outlet, or even to use the stolen animal as bait when training fighting dogs. The best advice is to leave the animal at home, where it's safe from theft as well as exposure to summer's heat. -- Charles

Dear Tom and Ray:

I thought your column was about cars. So now you're vets, too? BORING! Leave it to the vets and get back to cars, OK? -- Gary

TOM: OK, Gary. Next week, it's back to cars.

RAY: For those of you interested in this topic, we've launched "The FIDO Zone" at our Web site, www.cartalk.com, with all kinds of information about cars and dogs.

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