ARS_Blog_DTOP_BelowTitle_300x250

5 Reasons To Leave Your Dog In Your Car

Life is hectic, and we’re all busy.  It always feels like there isn’t enough time to do all of the things we need to do.  Sometimes things fall by the wayside, and the first to go should be proper pet care.  So, when that little voice in your head urges you to think twice before leaving your dog in a hot car, here are some great excuses to justify ignoring it:

1. “I’ll just be 10 minutes.”

You feed them, walk them, and give them love, but sometimes we’re just busy. Ten minutes in a car is uncomfortable, certainly, but they should be capable of enduring a little bit of heat while you run inside to take care of an errand. So, maybe it’ll take a little longer than you initially anticipated. Your dog is especially smart. He can sit. He can roll over.  Obviously he can also exercise a little patience and understanding.  Surely he can come up with some clever ways to avoid heat stroke, right?

hot dog

2. “It’s not a dog-friendly place.”

Not everyone likes dogs. Maybe you don’t even like dogs. What better way to break the news than to leave him locked in a car on a hot day?!  Don’t worry about the scornful stares of passersby, or the fines you face if you live in one of the sixteen states that have laws against leaving animals in cars.  Animal cruelty laws don’t really apply to you, do they?

3. “It’s not THAT hot outside.”

Dogs are notoriously dramatic.  It’s only 78 degrees outside. In my book, that’s pretty nice. So what if temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees? So what if their internal temperatures are closer to 102.5 degrees, making dogs naturally more inclined to overheat?  So what if they only have sweat glands in their paws and noses, making it harder for them to cool down, and panting doesn’t come close to cutting it?  If there’s one thing that you should not allow from your dog, it’s weakness.  Succumbing to the frightening symptoms of overheating is totally a weakness.

poodle in car

4. “It’s inconvenient to figure out an alternative.”

When you got this adorable puppy you thought to yourself, “Perfect. This animal will love me unconditionally, while asking for literally nothing in return.” Then, BOOM! She’s chewing up your shoes… she’s ruining your favorite rug… she’s waking you up to go outside at 6 am on a Saturday. If she doesn’t understand that you’ll be back and is developing anxiety because all she feels is the discomfort of being locked in a hot vehicle, she will just have to suck it up.  She’s inconvenienced you enough; it has to stop somewhere.  Anxiety can’t really hurt your dog, right?

dog in car

5. “I cracked a window.”

That’s practically the same thing as air-conditioning. I mean, you’re not going to drive around all day in a hot car with just a cracked window, but maybe your dog should pitch in for gas. Then he can have a say in things, but until then, you can ease your guilt with a sliver of air that doesn’t provide any circulation or lower the oppressively high temperature of the vehicle.  

Reality Check:

In just 10 minutes, the temperature in your car can raise by nearly 20 degrees. If that quick run into the store turns into 20 minutes, tack on another 10 degrees. Think it’s not that hot out and your dog will be fine while you shop for a bit? In an hour, the temperature in your car can rise by a whopping 40 degrees, making what feels like a breezy 80 degree day to you feel like a deadly 120-degree sauna for your pet. Most people justify this behavior by cracking a window, which does nothing to help your dog.

That’s right. You can hurt or kill your dog by leaving him in the car for a few minutes, and be prosecuted for cruelty to animals besides.

The veterinarian in this video shows us what a dog experiences when locked in a car with only four cracked windows for relief from the heat.  Except he can sweat freely, call for help, and unlock the doors to get out.

There is no excuse for leaving your dog in a car.

While it’s nice to have company during your daily tasks, it might be in your dog’s best interest to leave them at home. If you really want to take your dog on a car ride, save it for a time when they can accompany you when you leave the car!

Proper ARS animalrescuesite_belowcontent
Lindsy and her ten-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved to Seattle two years ago from Tucson, Arizona. They chose Seattle because they heard that's where they kept all the good coffee - plus Ella learned about grass. L. De Mello likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.