Carrie Underwood Breaks Car Window to Free Her Dogs and Child

by Patrick Mahaney on September 29, 2015

This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on Pet360.com as Carrie Underwood Breaks Car Window to Free Her Dogs and Child

Recently, a potentially tragic pet safety incident occurred involvingAmerican Idol alum and acclaimed singer Carrie Underwood. According to UK Daily Mail, Underwood recently had to bcarrie-underwood-pet-safety.lgreak a car window to gain access to her child, Isaiah, and her dogs, Ace and Penny. Underwood took to Twitter to inform her 4.61 million followers of the predicament and stated, “when your dogs manage to lock themselves, all your stuff & the baby in the car & you have to break a window to get in #WhatAreTheChances.”

What I find interesting about this report is that the headline focuses on Underwood’s need to rescue her child, but what it comes down to is the fact that she left her kids and her dogs in a car unattended. Although the exact details are unknown, we at least are aware that the Ace and Penny were able to lock the doors and trap themselves and Isaiah inside. If the windows were left open and closed by the dogs or if the windows were closed the entire time is unknown.

Ace and Penny have been prominently featured on Underwood’s Instagram account. Both dogs were even involved in sharing the news of Isaiah’s impending birth as Underwood shared a photo of Ace wearing a green, “I’m going to be a big brother” T-shirt and Penny sporting a pink, “I’m going to be a big sister” version of the shirt. And, as an avid animal lover, Underwood does volunteer work with animals and posted a photo of herself with a variety of rescue pooches and the caption, “Got to spend a little time at home this weekend. I was in dog heaven! #ShelterDogs #Adopt.”

Considering her passion for her own pooches and pets in general, I’m surprised to learn of this incident. This potentially deadly episode should teach Underwood, her fans and the rest of the pet-loving world that pets should never be left in the car on an unobserved basis and in a less-than-ideal environment.

Even on what seems to be a cool day, your pet could still be at risk for hyperthermia (an elevation in body temperature above the normal 100-102.5F range). A Stanford University Medical Center study, published in Pediatrics magazine, determined that the temperature inside a vehicle could increase by an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit within 60 minutes (over half of a degree per minute), regardless of the temperature outside. The hotter your car becomes, the more likely your pet will also experience hyperthermia. Prolonged or severe hyperthermia can cause lethargy, vomit, diarrhea, multi-system organ failure, prolonged blood clotting times, seizures, coma and death.

While you may only plan to only be away from the car for a few minutes, unforeseeable circumstances can keep you away for longer, and although you haven’t planed for such to happen, your pet can potentially die inside the “glass coffin,” as cars are commonly referred to in the veterinary community.

As canine behavior is often unpredictable, dogs can commit actions that don’t necessarily serve their best interests, like pressing the button to lock car doors or roll up the windows. Therefore, it’s crucial that pets are appropriately restrained in your vehicle.

My dog, Cardiff, and my clients’ dogs are always transported in size-appropriate crates that fit in the back of my Prius or my husband’s SUV. That way, the dogs are kept in a safe, confined location and will be spared from being shaken around or thrown out the window, should an accident occur. Alternatively, an airbag could inflate and crush your pad if he sits on your lap while you drive.  Dogs that move freely in the car also serve as distractions to the driver. Distracted driving increases the risk of swerving and hitting another car, stationary object, or even a person. As I’ve had to treat dogs that have been tossed around or out of a car during an accident, I’m an advocate of avoiding such incidences.

A Health Daily News report showed that, among seniors who always drove with their pets, “the crash risk was twice as high as among those who never drove with their pet.” Having an unrestrained pet wandering on the front or back seats of the car or sitting in your lap while driving is comparably dangerous as texting or operating your mobile phone.

Don’t be that owner who regrets not having properly restraining their pet only after a tragic incident has occurred.  You could find yourself in an ambulance and end up mourning the loss of your beloved Fido (or Fluffy). I am so glad to hear that Ace, Penny, and Isaiah were unharmed in this incident, yet I wish that Underwood would use her platform to speak out about the potential dangers associated with leaving your pet unobserved or unrestrained in the car. Then again, perhaps as at least up to this incident, Underwood needed a real-time education about the basics of being a responsible pet owner.

Have you ever had to rescue an animal from a locked car?  If so, please feel free to share your experience in the comments section.

Copyright of this article (2015) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

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