Pet Summer Travel Safety Tips

The lazy days of summer are just a few shakes of a dogs tail away, but those lazy days can turn fatal for our four legged friends.

In this Feature at Five, we'll tell you how to protect your pet from the summer heat.

Getting a ride in the car ranks pretty much at the top of every dog's list. At the bottom, being left alone in the car, even if it is a Mercedes.

"I see it a lot at shopping centers. I guess people just think they are going to run in and get something for a few minutes," says Martha Winters, a dog owner.

But in the dog days of summer, those few minutes can turn fatal for our furry friends. Veterinarian mike short says each summer he treats three to four dogs for heat stroke, pups that have been left in the car on a hot summer day.

"Several die last summer. Once someone thought going into store saw someone they knew and 15 minutes later came out and that's all it took," says Dr. Mike Short of Animal Veterinarian Services.

Here's the thing, canines can't regulate their body temperature as well as humans. They only have a few sweat glands in the pads of their paws, so they can get really hot, really quickly.

This is how pooches perspire:

"They pant and not very efficient, that's not good enough in a hot car in Florida."

It's not called the sunshine state for nothing. The heat and humidity are unforgiving, and it only takes five minutes for a car to reach 100 degrees.

So to keep you out of the doghouse and hopefully “Fido” from an unexpected trip to Dr. Short for heat stroke. Never walk away from your car without taking this with you.

Dr. Short with Animal Veterinarian Services says if you notice your dog is panting really hard for more than 20 minutes you might want to see a vet.