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A lot of times when a dog dies in a hot car, you hear people saying "but I've done it before!". It's one of those things that could seem 'fine' right up until it's not - and don't forget that your dog's own body heat and moisture will be adding to the sauna inside the vehicle. Not worth the risk.

If the dog has the option of walking on a cooler surface and chooses to walk on a warmer one, I'm not too bothered by that. Obviously if you see signs of burns or tenderness, you may need to enforce only walking on grass for that specific dog, and I would try to be aware of environments that might unintentionally encourage your dog to walk on hotter surfaces than are safe (eg there's a farm across the street and your dog is really interested in the animal smells, so is on the asphalt to get closer to that even though it's painful). There are definitely some dogs who will ignore discomfort and pain if they're in drive or overstimulated. But in most cases, I'd expect them to be able to self regulate so long as they have a cool, safe option available to them, like grass.
 
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