First off, would you leave your dog in the car while it’s hot outside? The answer would be ‘no’.
Aside from all the judgment coming from people passing by at what a horrible dog owner you might be, leaving a dog in a car while it’s hot can actually be fatal to your canine pal, causing dehydration and anxiety, and eventually even death.
The car literally acts like a convection oven trapping all the heat coming from its sides, so leaving a dog inside a vehicle during summer is a big no-no.
But what about winter? When it’s no longer dangerously, or even remotely, hot?
While the dangers of dehydration (and slowly baking your pup to death inside your car) are no longer there, winter does bring a harsh and obvious environmental change – THE COLD. And with winter comes the usual tradition of heading to ski resorts with friends and family, or even hitting the slopes solo, if you like to keep it simple.
If you’re bringing your dog with you on the trip, you might find it difficult to let your dog join the activities, so your next best option is to leave your friend behind in the car till you get back.
Sure, you’d think they might have a fresh winter coat that will keep them warm, but unless your dog is a special breed accustomed to the harsh winter temperatures (like Huskies, or Akitas), you will be subjecting them to a very dangerous and life-threatening situation.
Temperatures have the possibility of dropping several degrees in a short span of time, and with it comes the risk of leaving your dog unattended inside a vehicle that keeps getting colder and colder with every passing minute.
Why You Shouldn’t Leave Dog In Car While Skiing
It’s common knowledge that ski resorts exist in mountainous terrain with the coldest temperatures. If you are leaving your dog inside a car with winds of unspeakably low temperature circling around it, expect your vehicle to turn into a fridge on wheels. With your pup inside.
The main risk here is hypothermia when your dog can no longer regulate its body temperature by any means. Dogs, being warm-blooded animals (like us) will have various mechanisms to adjust and maintain our body temperature at a fixed level regardless of the temperature outside.
Now, imagine leaving a dog inside a car for hours in the freezing cold.
You might tell yourself that you will check on him every five minutes or so, but if you are far away from the vehicle and you have to make a long trip to the parking lot every five minutes, it is going to be a chore that will also affect the skiing experience as well.
Plus, leaving dogs unattended in empty cars can also be illegal in some places. This is something you should also be wary of, especially if you do not want to be in any legal trouble.
Also read our guide on is it illegal to wear a ski mask in public.
What To Do With Dog While Skiing?
So, if you can’t leave them in your car, what should you do? Here are some ideas:
Leave Them At Home Or Ask A Friend For Help
The best option would be to leave them at home and go on the trip on your own. Your dog will be much safer alone at home, than inside a car that keeps getting colder by the passing minute.
Leave plenty of food and water for your dog while you are away, and if you make sure you regulate the temperatures inside the house as well.
You can also ask a neighbor or a friend of yours to check on your dog, and perhaps take it for a walk once or twice during your absence. It will be much better if the neighbors or friends are dog parents too so that your pup will have a canine pal to play and bond with till you get back.
Bring Them To The Mountain With You
This is entirely possible, but you need to do additional research if you are bringing your dog with you to the ski resort.
Sometimes, resorts do not allow people to bring in their pets due to various risks (skiing accidents, anxiety in your dog due to large crowds) but if your resort does allow pets, it’s best you take them with you so you can leave them under good care.
Also read our guide on the best family Montana ski resorts.
This is also a great option if you do not have close neighbors or cannot get a friend to help you out at the last minute.
Find A Local Dog Sitter
This is also possible if you can find a trustworthy person to take care of your dog while you are gone. One major piece of advice would be to find a reliable agency or group that can vouch for your dog’s safety while you are gone.
Also, if you have any friends or acquaintances living in the area of the ski resort, you can ask them for some help in taking care of your dog.
Keep Them In A Kennel
One other option if you cannot opt for either of the above suggestions, is to find a kennel where you can leave your dog to be taken care of till you come back.
It will be much more expensive, but the special laws governing these places will make sure your dog is well taken care of and you can fully enjoy your skiing with zero anxiety about your pup’s well-being.
So What Have We Learned?
Do not, I repeat, do not leave your dogs alone in a car in freezing temperatures! Risking the life of your canine buddy just for a few hours’ worth of thrills is simply not worth it.
Unless you want to be constantly checking on your dog every five minutes, or you want to be in legal trouble for leaving your pet unattended, it’s important you find a safe alternative that will ensure your pup is safe, warm, and happy while you ski down the slopes with the confidence that your pet is well taken care of.