With the weather warming up, I think it’s time for a reminder about dogs (or any living being, really) being left in hot cars.

Let’s face it, people who leave their dogs in cars are generally not evil, dog-hating, people. After all, dog-haters rarely pack up their beloved family dog and take it in the car to run errands with them. People who leave their dogs in hot cars are people who make mistakes– they simply do not know. So let’s educate them.

– Perhaps they don’t realize that dogs do not sweat, & therefore rely on panting/breathing in cool air around them in order to lower their core body temp. Being trapped in a warm car, with warm, stagnant air makes it physically impossible for them to cool themselves. So their body temperatures rise as every second passes.

– Perhaps they don’t realize that even just 20 minutes in a car on a hot day (70 degrees F+) is long enough to kill, or seriously injure their companion.

– Perhaps they expected their errand to be really quick (I just ran into the post office to buy stamps!) but they didn’t bank on a long line, and then running into their 3rd grade teacher and needing to stop and chat for 10 extra minutes.

– Perhaps they cracked a window, and thought that since Fido could poke his/her nose out, things would be fine (wrong!)

– Perhaps they really were only gone for 10 minutes, but they didn’t realize that when they leave their dog in the car alone, the dog tends to get a bit stressed out. As the dog pants, paces, and barks due to this anxiety, his body temperature skyrockets at an alarming fast rate.

– Perhaps they thought that since they “parked in the shade” it would be okay.

– Perhaps they think that as long as it’s not crazy-hot out (let’s say, 90+ degrees, or 27+ degrees) that it’s okay to leave the dog in the car.

– Perhaps they didn’t realize that the even though it is “only” 70 degrees F (21 celsius) outside, the temperature INSIDE the car climbs drastically as each minute passes.

  • 75 degrees outside = 118 degrees in your car
  • 77 degrees outside = 123 degrees in your car
  • 81 degrees outside = 138 degrees in your car
  • 90 degrees outside = 143 degrees in your car
  • 94 degrees outside = 145 degrees in your car

Talk to the people in your life about the dangers of hot vehicles. Don’t assume that everyone understands and knows all that there is to know. And if you ever see a dog in a car, call 911. If you feel silly about calling 911 about a dog in a car (you shouldn’t!) then look up and call your local Police Non-Emergency line. Stay with the dog/car if you can until help arrives.

And above all, if it’s warm out (not ‘hot’, just warm) leave your dog at home. It’s not worth risking it. Leave the dog at home.


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