Is There a Safe Temperature to Leave a Dog in a Car?

August 15, 2016

By Linda Cole

For many responsible pet owners, their dog is an important member of the family. So it’s natural to want to take your four legged friend with you in the car. There’s nothing wrong with bringing your dog along for a car ride, as long as you have no plans to make any stops where you have to leave him in the car. It doesn’t take long for a car to heat up in summer temperatures or cool down during the winter. But is there a safe temperature to leave a dog in a car?

Currently, 22 states have laws that either make it illegal to leave a dog unattended in a parked vehicle, or grant private citizens immunity from being held liable for damages resulting from freeing the dog, if it’s obvious the dog is at risk of injury or death. The language in most of these laws state that for a pet owner to be in violation of the law, an animal must be confined or left alone inside a parked car under certain conditions that put the pet at risk. Some laws specifically state that it’s unlawful to leave a pet alone in a car in extreme hot or cold temperatures, while others are written more generally and only say conditions that are likely to result in injury or death.

In states with no laws on their books addressing pets left in vehicles, city governments are enacting ordinances and it’s likely others will follow suit. So it’s important for pet owners to be aware of their local ordinances and be aware of laws in other cities when traveling with your pet. Stopping for a bite to eat, to go shopping or any stop that requires leaving your pet alone in the car could cost you. Penalties for violating these laws can range from fines and/or jail time to having your pet taken away from you. Even if there are no laws concerning pets in hot or cold vehicles, animal cruelty charges are a possibility if a pet is put in harm’s way.

Heat and humidity affect our furry friends the same way it does us. Humidity accompanied by 90 degree or higher temperatures make us feel miserable. Even lower temps with humid air can be dangerous for pets trapped inside a car. It doesn’t take long for a vehicle to heat up, and cracking the windows open even on a mild day doesn’t really help. The hotter the temperature is inside a vehicle, the harder it is for a dog, or any pet, to stay cool when hot air is the only thing they have to breathe. That puts them at risk of heat stroke. A dog’s age and health can also be a factor in how well he handles extreme temps.

New Ad Sidebar - no bag 2When the outside temperature is 70 degrees, a car can heat up to 89 degrees in just 10 minutes, and to 104 in 30 minutes. At 80 degrees outside, you’re looking at 99 degrees inside a vehicle in 10 minutes and 114 in 30 minutes. At 95 degrees, it only takes 10 minutes to reach 114 degrees and the temperature soars to 129 degrees in 30 minutes.

We wouldn’t want to stay in a vehicle and endure any of those temperatures for very long. Yet every year we read about pet owners who leave their dog alone in a vehicle while shopping, dining out, going to the movies or doing other things. This is putting their pet at risk. To understand the heat your pet experiences while waiting in the car, sit in it for 10 to 30 minutes with the windows cracked. Keep in mind, your dog is also wearing a fur coat.

As much as a car can heat up in summer temps, it can cool down to under freezing just as fast. Pets that don’t normally spend a lot of time outside in the winter are more susceptible to the cold when left alone inside a vehicle. Hypothermia can become a risk at 50 degrees.

Leaving the motor running is a bad idea, even if you’ve cracked a window to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in winter or leave the air conditioning running in the summer. An unrestrained pet can accidentally put the car in gear, which is what happened recently in a Walmart parking lot in West Virginia. Another reason why it’s a bad idea to leave the car running is if the engine dies, the cool air or heat goes away. Meanwhile, a dog is put at risk of becoming too hot or too cold while their owner is unaware there’s a problem.

Is there a safe temperature to leave a dog alone inside a parked car? Not really. It’s best to leave your pet at home where you know he’s safe. If you do need to take your dog along, use common sense and pay close attention to outside temperatures and how long he’s been in the car.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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Comments

  1. Laura says:

    I have a trip into the city coming up and along the way there are stores I have to stop in as I don’t get the opportunity to go often because of how far i live away from the city. When it’s not too hot or cold outside why is it so bad for me to leave my pet in the car? In these temperatures I have him outside with me for hours why is it horrible if he has his crate/aka his bed, dog dishes with food water blanket…. why is this not safe? I get the extreme temperatures because of obvious reasons but if it’s not freezing outside or over 20 degrees (Celsius) what’s the issue? Just wondering because nothing in this articl talks about the real risks of mild temperatures.

    1. trishwriter says:

      Please be careful about leaving your pet in the car. I’m not sure how much these draconian laws actually help pets, but they sure do punish the owners. Our family travels a lot with our two dogs. Recently, we were in Odessa, Missouri, where we had stopped for a grass-fed hamburger. It seemed like a friendly town and we were able to park in front the restaurant, where we could easily see and check on the dogs. We checked on them every few minutes and they were fine each time. They had plenty of water.

      But our dogs bark. A lot. In Odessa, this attracted the attention of some busybodies who called the police. Three officers went up to my 17-year-old son, as he was going to check on the dogs, and told him that they had “received complaints,” and were going to impound our vehicle. We were trying to return to our home in California. Fortunately, I came out of a store and saw the police there, as they were questioning my son. There were three of them and when I went, very politely, over to talk with them, and told them that I had cracked the windows, parked in the shade, and that we were checking on the dogs, one of the police threatened to arrest me and take our dogs to a shelter; I’m assuming that my children would have been taken as well, being that they were all under 18. Meanwhile, my son had taken the dogs on a walk and they were obviously just fine.

      So, the police were going to arrest a mother, require the father to come hundreds of miles, take the dogs to a shelter (where they would probably be euthanized), and impound our vehicle. All that would have happened had the police threat been carried out. “I just want to get out of this state,” I told the officers, who all were armed, but I was not. “You’re downplaying the situation,” one told me, “if you continue to do that, I’ll arrest you.” Not one of those policemen took the time to even look at our dogs–they were busy instead trying to arrest me. Fortunately, God gave me the words I needed at the time and I said, “What do I need to do?” The policeman calmed down a bit after I acquiesced in this manner and we were able to get in the car and leave. Please allow me to stress here that our dogs were fine and have been fine since that day. Had the police, or the busybodies, been truly interested in our dogs, they would have asked us to walk them or checked on the dogs per se. They were not there to help the dogs, however.

      Being that my non-arrest in that situation (for which I am thankful!) saved us thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees, travel, etc., I am guessing that the police officers’ job that day was to secure more revenue for the town. I plan to stay away from Odessa, Missouri.

  2. Jeanne says:

    I am traveling solo with my pug along the southern eastern coast so do not have a home to leave her in. I have to go to rest stops, make other stops and she is not allowed to enter the buildings. What am I supposed to do ?? I leave car running with ac on if it is visible from where I am, but other times I do not have any options. When driving 9 hours I must stop. I think shop owners should be more lenient about letting well behaved dogs enter their premises. What is your suggestion for us? I love my dog and would never put her in harm’s way.

    1. Laura says:

      This is exactly the point. I got told off by some lady when I stopped along the side of the road coming home from the city to grab fruit at a pop up farmers market tent because I had my well behaved dog strapped to my waist walking around the “food”! It was outside and I still got ragged on for having him around. So I can’t leave them in the car (plus it was warmer out so I wouldn’t..) I can’t just leave him out front of most shops… nevermind most places don’t have spots for me to leave him where he’s not protected from cars, people, sun etc what do you do? People get mad one way or another! Like in your situation it’s not like you can just leave him at home, what do you do?

  3. Daniel Ryan says:

    If you break my window to try to”save” my dog, you will need someone to save you! She is very protective and territorial as well as powerful and would not hesitate to tear your ass up. Better think twice.

    1. Lisa says:

      don’t leave it in the car then

  4. Lamonte Cook says:

    I bring my dog along at 75 to 78. I open the sun roof crack all 4 windows. If I leave him home, he cries and scratches the door. He ripped off his nail, scratching the door. I feel he is comfortable as I am never gone more than 15 minutes I bring a water dish as well. I’m sorry in the winter we take hour walks in 30 or 40 degree temps. even 20 degree temps if the sun is out and now I shouldn’t leave him in any temperature. Just seems odd. I love my dog and for someone to break my car window at basically any temperature is wrong. Sad and I understand people don’t use common sense. But I guess I should stop long walks and car rides

    1. Tarr says:

      So to clarify, your dog has separation anxiety so bad it hurts itself and because you can’t get a kennel that is designed so the dog can’t get hurt, or can’t afford to train or have it trained to deal with anxiety, or both, you say the only choice is to take this dog and leave it in a way that most experts agree is hard to monitor, pisses no benefit, and only risks. Moreover, you own this animal but making separate car trips for your pet and for your errands is either too time restrictive or too much hassle? Sounds like maybe your not as good a candidate for pet ownership as you believe. Your animals life is more important than your inconvenience or pocketbook. So many pet owners don’t seem to understand that being responsible for a pet means work and inconvenience just like a kid. The idea is they and their companionship are worth it

  5. Melissa says:

    I would love to put a flyer out to inform people! How do I do that? My heart breaks every single time I see a pet left in the car…

  6. Linda Shockley says:

    Here is the thing- it is not wise to leave a dog unattened anywhere except in a secure kennel, inside a building. ( and then for only a few hours at most!) Still at times you may find that is impossible to make happen. Life is not always set up so the best options are avalible to you. (that is certianly true for me!) STILL its always a risk you are taking to leave a dog unattended anywhere. Know the risk. Know that no matter how you came to decide to leave your dog unattended, others WILL not see it that way. That is the kind of world we live in. As for specificly leaving a dog unattended in a car… you have to consider your car a big metal oven. Because with out the ac on in the hot temps, it really is. Leaving windows open, or blasting AC before leaving your dog in the car are mesures which do almost NOTHING to lessen the danger you are putting your dog in. If you are willing to risk the possiblity that you may not make it back to open your car in time to prevent Heat from effecting your dog, well then I cannot argue with that- so long as you know it. The same is true for cold tempatures! ( for we all have days where we do foolish things like lock our keys in the car! And haven forbid that this happens on a day when the dog is also in there too!) Truth is we cannot know the future, or how long we will actually be away from the dog- anything could happen the moment you walk away that could prevent you from returning in time to save your dog. No matter your good intentions to return quickly! And the more often you do it, the higher the chances that the next time you do it will be the time when something goes wrong. Don’t let your dog suffer because you don’t know the risk you are taking. You are playing with his health. IF you are ok with that, then I guess I can’t say anything more. You are the owner- you make the choice. I only hope that before you leave your dog alone in a car again you understand the serious risks that are involved!

  7. Frances says:

    I only leave my dog in the car if it’s 60 or below. I never leave them for more than 10 minutes and I leave the windows down halfway and the doors of my car are left unlocked in case something unexpected happens my dog is easy to get to.

  8. Jay says:

    Lucy is an 11 year old Rat Terrier who has been with me since she was 6 weeks old. One of her favorite things to do is go for rides in the car. As soon as I pick up my keys, she is jumping up and down with excitement at the prospect of coming with me. When the outside air temperature is higher than 72 degrees, I won’t let her come, so she pouts.

    When I park and she’s in the car, I’m always take care to crack the windows and open the sunroof so the car is well ventilated.

    Today after being in the store for about 10 minutes, I returned to the car to find a note chastising me for leaving Lucy in the car. The outside temperature was 70 degrees and the sun was setting.

    Less then a week ago, I took Lucy with me to the Nursery to pick out some plants. One of the clerks followed me around asking if she could take her for a walk so she would get over-heated. I thanked her for her concern and explained that my dog is very shy and she’d be very agitated to be on a leash walking around the nursery with me because there were so many people there. I told her that Lucy would suffer a panic attack if a stranger was walking her. Despite this, the clerk followed me around the nursery insisting I let her walk my dog. I left without making a purchase.

    I honestly appreciate folks concern for my pup, but when there is no need to be and I get a nasty note or am pestered to let Lucy out of the car, it really annoys me.

    1. kate says:

      I have a very sweet pitbull. However, as sweet as she is, she is highly destructive. She has very severe separation anxiety, as we found out shortly after adopting her. She has destroyed furniture, décor, doors, so many belongings, and most importantly, her metal crates. She has learned how to open the refrigerator, my cabinets, and has also knocked the oven down. She goes absolutely crazy and unrecognizable when left alone. Despite many efforts and methods to help her, sometimes it is safer for both the dog, and my home, to bring her with me. Longest I have left her in the car was an hour, at night, in the spring time. Temp was between 50-60, and she had a blanket and water. She is much calmer and more content being in the car than at home. In the summer, I usually don’t bring her with me, unless I’m running a quick errand, which in that case I leave the car running and the ac on and I cover up the gear shift, which can’t be put into drive or reverse without pressing a button. Just wanted to throw it out there that it is not always “better for the dog” to just leave them at home. Sometimes, there are reasons to bring a dog with you everywhere other than just to have the dog with you for companionship. Obviously, common sense should be exercised and a dog should not be left when it is too hot or too cold. But like in my case, I will continue to bring her with me, because yes, it is safer for her.

    2. Laura says:

      I love that you posted this! You are a great dog owner by the sounds of it and sometimes people put their two cents in where it isn’t necessary. If it’s not extreme temperatures I’m sure your pet would rather come along for the ride, stay put for 15mins out of the journey than miss out on the entire adventure and just stay home bored and alone. I know my dog would rather be out exploring even in the car than just staying at home to wait for his walk. My dog loves the car!!

  9. Joe says:

    People need to mind their own business. These laws are just fodder for these virtue signaling aholes to get their daily high and mighty rocks off. Yes it is safe to leave your pets in your vehicle under the right conditions. To say that there isn’t is incorrect, lazy, and furthers the problems caused by nosy idiots described below.

    1. Dusty Murphy says:

      Right on your absolutely right! People forget that our dogs are family to us last thing we want is for them to get hurt. I don’t care, we should be able to take our pets anywhere we F-ing want to .People need to mind their own damn business, unless it’s blatant animal abuse!!

      1. Jeanz says:

        I just had some lady approach me, despite the fact that I left my dog a dish with ice cold water in the console for him, parked in the shade, closed the sun roof visor and cracked the windows and was literally inside of the store for less than THREE minutes. Some people are just busy bodies, and have nothing better to do. I told her to mind her own business, I’m well aware that dogs can overheat in the car if left for too long under the wrong conditions, which is why I specifically took the precautions I did AND I even have a thermometer on my mirror that said the temp never went above 75 inside of the vehicle. The laws are well intentioned but you know what they say about good intentions…

      2. Mirthy Jennifer says:

        True

      3. Victoria says:

        You people really don’t realize how dangerous this is!!! I saw a woman coming out of a shop. Her windows were down about 4inchs. Here windows were also tinted and it was 72 degrees out late afternoon. There were police around her truck. The woman had been inside for 30 minutes and it was verified by sales people. Her gorgeous GermanShepard only 3 yrs old was dead in the truck. The internal temp of that vehicle was 107 degrees. I know this because I know one of the officers that came. The woman who breeds these beautiful dogs was like most of you and said I thought it was ok, never was a problem before, I’ve always done this!!!!!! She was arrested, charged and given a very large fine after they did a completel autopsy to be sure 100%. I am one that if I see a dog in a car in distress I will try to have the plate called in the store but your windows getting broken if the doors are locked and I’ve gone through proper channels or distress gets worse. I dont care how vicious you think your dog is, a dog in distress is going for that water before it’s going for me if it can move at all !!!!! Been there done it!!!!

    2. deb m says:

      It s a common sense thing and I do thank God that some people with real concerns ,that have good sense take time to help animals that have been left by negligent owners , it happens everyday and with children to . I agree with you to a point but there are some real ignorant people out there and observant people who care with good sense are there only hope !

    3. CRay says:

      If u think it’s ok to leave your dog in a car under those conditions, I think YOU should sit in a car with the windows “cracked” and the sunroof open for longer than 30 minutes, Fully Clothed with long sleeves, (dogs are covered in fur you know!) in the 70+ degrees and see how hot YOU get!!!
      It’s people like you who make people like me soooo mad. You think it’s alright and it’s NOT!
      It starts getting hot in a car within 5 minutes, even with a window open! If it’s not really Windy out, then there’s NO Ventilation! You are some kind of moron if you think there is!

      1. Tony B. says:

        I do sit in the car with my dog while my wife goes shopping. Ive experienced being in there for a couple hours with the windows cracked and my dog and i survived comfortably in the shade with the windows open. We had nap time, it was great. Saying “you try it”, i did, it was fine. Have you tried it? Its fine when its in the 60s and theres good air flow in the shade. I urge you to try it, its good nap time.

  10. emma kahn says:

    I have grown weary of this situation. It was 63 degrees today. I ran into Walgreens to pick up a prescription and left my terrier in the car (in her seat belt.) Mind you, I blasted the air conditioning so it was freezing by the time I parked. Further, I actually set a timer on my watch so if I had to wait in line, I would have left. No one else was in line; I was out in under two (2) minutes. I returned to a nasty note — chastising me — on my windshield. Next, the note writer started swearing at me, as if I had been in the store for 30+ minutes. The car was still cool from the air conditioning when I got inside. And the dog wasn’t even panting. People don’t know what is going on in others lives or why I urgently needed to run in for a prescription or how cool the car was prior to parking or how long I was in the store. Honestly, it seems a lot of people are walking around looking for an argument. I highly suggest timing the incident and speaking with the dog owner before screaming foul language and calling the police. Also, I realize the do-gooders are on the side of animals but please don’t block my car in an attempt to photograph my license BECAUSE that…could have ended rather badly. I couldn’t see the woman crouched down trying to get a photo of my plate. I could have run her over. This is nuts.

    1. Michelle says:

      Leave your pet at home! While you run a quick trip.. There is no excuses here.
      I love my dog . So with that said I owe it to him to leave him at home . Sure he’s bummed but they get over it. Ignorance is no excuse! And if you already know how quick a car can heat up then it’s stupidity and just plain careless!
      There….is…NO….excuses here!

      1. Dusty D. Murphy says:

        Right on your absolutely right! People forget that our dogs are family to us last thing we want is for them to get hurt. I don’t care, we should be able to take our pets anywhere we F-ing want to .People need to mind their own damn business, unless it’s blatant animal abuse!!Amen Tell your kids or grandkids they can’t go !!!

      2. Carole says:

        You are the only one so far on this feed that has the answer correct.
        just leave your fur babies at home on hot days. They will love you more for it when you come home.

      3. Cheyenne says:

        The dog isn’t going to die in literally 3 minutes.

    2. Lisa says:

      Poeple who leave their pets in cars under any circumstances, do not have concern for their pet…they use all kinds of excuses to try and justify their actions but to no avail…these people need to follow the adv ice of the veterinarian and they need to educate themselves. I feel sorry for the pets that have to endure this type of owner. They should be ticketed and have their pets taken away, just like you would do if they left their child in the car.

    3. Megan says:

      You are certainly lying. 2 Minutes? Come on. You just don’t want to take responsibility. You were probably in there for at least 10, giving them enough time to see the dog and write the note..

  11. Marcos Torres says:

    I drive a school bus in the summers in Las Cruces, NM. We have seen interior temps of 117 degree’s but no one is willing to say just how hot is too hot to transport children in non-airconditioned school buses. I fear losing a driver to heat-related illness while driving.

  12. If the temp. outside is 56* on a rainy day, is it safe to leave my Pomeranian in the car for 1 1/2hr?

    1. Queenie Marsh says:

      My dog will not stay home alone, he has to go with me every where,and I’m afraid to take him in stores with me because he may bite someone, I really don’t know what to do , help please

      1. Cray says:

        Train him.

  13. Barry says:

    I parked my truck in full shade, cracked the windows. It was 84 degrees. NO SUN. 100% shade in big ol trees. Windows cracked 4″. Bowl of water on the floor for my precious buddy. He is Chihuahua and those dogs will lay in direct sunlight when it is a hundred and 5 degrees out for 2 hours or more.. So I get back to my truck 45 minutes later. My dog is gone. I find the card… Dog is in pound. Come and pay to get him out. I was so mad… Full Shade, 84 degrees out. NO SUN hitting the truck.. It was deemed abhorrent by the bystanders.. Well I completely disagree. I don’t want animals to suffer. I love animals. And when you take such pains to take care of your Dog and then you are called an abuser it just really ticks me off. There are some that just want to be seen as being the savior, the “god” of impress their will on someone else because of ego and arrogance. For that person to call me an animal abuser with a nasty tone is just so ridiculous. I actually feel sorry for the person. Anyway.. Because of some stupid people that don’t use their head with their pets we all suffer. People that don’t own dogs do not understand the bond. I love my dog. He goes everywhere with me. It is apparently so easy for someone to just say, oh leave your dog at home locked up 8 or 10 hours a day. It kills me to leave him. I have taken my dogs with me for decades to job sites and errands all the time. I have never lost a pet to heat. Nor caused brain damage either. And you know what. If my dog could talk I bet he would say I love you.. You take me everywhere you can and make sure I am not abused.. So I tried to explain to the arresting officer from the dog police that they should use some common sense. I told her Full Shade, Water, 84 degrees it was completely safe. She cut me off and said keep on talking and the fine will go up.. Man. little gods running around. People on their high horses man. Ideological maxims.. All at the behest of some little god complex do gooder that should just go do something really good. Like get a dog and take him with you and find out what it is like to love something.

    1. Jim Olive says:

      Been there, Barry, but at least the police exercised common sense in my case. Same setup, shade, 4-6 inches of window, sunroof open, water and food, and frequent checks to make sure all was well. Some outraged citizen called the police, who called me (my number was on windshield). I returned to the car and demonstrated to the officer that the interior temperature was in the 70’s (despite outside temp in high 60’s) and that the dog had water and he agreed that proper care was being exercised. If only people would THINK before they get all riled up! With all the stories in the press, they scare people into believing it is NEVER okay, and that’s not true. I have a remote thermometer that I can moniter on my phone, I know when it is getting hot in my car. I love my Jack Russell, the last thing I’m going to do is bake him!!! Common sense, it’s not that common…

    2. Laura says:

      So right!! I take my guy everywhere… literally everywhere! I travelled with him to Europe where he too would lay in 30degree (Celsius)plus direct sunlight for hours by his own choice in my parents backyard in Portugal. There’s tons of shade, doggy door to get in the house and he chooses the spots on the stones where the sun gets the hottest!! I love my dog more than anything in the world, I want him to have adventures, he loves it! I take every precaution with him but it doesn’t matter people are always going to point out what’s wrong with what your doing before knowing the whole story. My boy is 9years old happiest dog, well travelled, always by my side, if I have to leave him in the truck in his massive crate with his food and water dish while I grab somethings inside along our journey he’s ok F off kindly.

  14. Maggie says:

    I walked in a Library to left windows 4″ open return my books tempature was 72°in my mid- SUV a nosey busy body Ms. Krabits said she called the Police on me. I said okey let’s wait!!! She left huffing and puffing some ppl have no life their misery loves company!!! Im a loving animal lover I know what my dog can insure ❤ my Applehead Chihuahua! ❤

  15. Gary Norton says:

    Last week I left my lab in the car and it was 53 degrees. I was in the gym 15 minutes and a lady entered asking everyone who’s dog it was in the car. I responded mine and she told me to go crack the windows. I said she was fine. Looked out at her and she was not panting or under any duress. She called the police. Who came in while I was working out and told me to “go take care of the dog” I went outside and asked the officer “is she in Destress?” “What is the current temp” 53 he responded. Then what in the hell are we doing out here? It was very embarrassing and totally unnessary. I believe that common sense is a two way street, use common sense not to put your animal in harms way as well as don’t bother someone for no reason other than you want to be noticed or feel impowered. Common sense people “use it” please.

    1. Dusty D. Murphy says:

      I think that’s what it is. A power trip!!!

    2. CR says:

      Why did you bring your dog with when you knew you were going to work out? I think that’s totally out of line. If you love your dog at all, leave it at home to be safe and comfortable! You only think the dog wants to be with you all the time, because you are some selfish a-holes. If the dog knew it was going to be locked up in a small, confined, sometimes HOT space for “who knows how long” in their mind, it would have been better to have rather you left them at home to roam free!
      When is everyone going to get it, Just Don’t Leave A Dog or a Person/Child in an Unattended mostly Closed up Car. Then we won’t have any more problems.

  16. People have lost their minds in this country. I have a nine-year-old husky mix . I take her with me once or twice a week when I need to go run errands. (Only in the winter months). If it is above 60 outside I would never leave her in the car. It’s called commonsense!

  17. Kristen P says:

    Was put in a situation today where a dog was in a car, no windows cracked, in a parking lot. Given, it was 62 degrees outside, so I waited for the owner for over an hour with ease, didn’t show up. Called the police and when they arrived, the owner did too. He had admitted to keeping the dog there since 4am, it was 2pm during this event. He said the dog isn’t aloud to live in his apartments so he keeps him in the car and checks up on him or takes him places with him when he goes out. The sheriff said there was no wrongdoing unless it was hotter outside. I didn’t fight it, but I’m still troubled by how long the dog stayed in the car, despite the low temps.

    1. Cr says:

      He should give the dog away to someone who can take care of it properly if he cannot have dogs in his apartment! What does he do with the dog when he is home? Where does the dog stay? That is just cruelty and the animal should have been taken away from him!

  18. Alice watson says:

    In my point of view, one should not leave their pets inside the car for longer period. Sometimes, they became frustrated and damages the car seat. So, leaving a dog inside a car for a longer period could cost us more. We have to handle such situation very carefully. And if, any part of the car is damaged, then it should be immediately repaired near a trusted and certified repairing center. It is always recommended to use genuine car parts.

  19. dogowner says:

    I think the people who freak out about leaving a dog in the car in the cold are not dog owners. If you know your dog you should know what conditions your dog can tolerate. I left my dog in the car while i went in a store. I came out and there were 3 people around the car claiming they had been there for 20 minutes and i should not have left my dog because it was cold. They called the cops. It was in the 20s. I pointed out they they stood outside in the wind for 20 minutes waiting for me to get back and they were fine but they were freaking out about a dog in shelter in the cold – dumb. The reality is my dog loves the cold and will refuse to come inside when out. To claim that is abuse or neglect is absurd. Dogs tolerate cold well. If it were hot I would not bring my dog.

    1. Dusty D. Murphy says:

      I totally agree we you the heat KILLS!!!

  20. Ivy Phd says:

    Outside temp 26F, no wind, no sun; ran into grocers for 20 min. Full coated 15 lb Pomeranian left in car after driving an hour on highway. Comfortable temp to me, wrapped in wool coat and boots. Blanket and velour robe for dog to lay on. Woman starts yelling at me that she had right to break window, that animal control was on way and that I didn’t deserve my dog (5 yrs old and has traveled 50,000 miles with me). I told her and her companion that she was crazy and she really knew how to make friends. I’m a trained mammalogist.

    1. Britt Piehl says:

      GOod for you. People who stick their nose where it doesn’t belong, usually do NOT own a dog. You know your dog better than anyone else, and it sounds like you took great care of your baby. These people have no idea how long you’ve been gone, how long you drove with the heat on high to keep it warm a little longer. I have to go up north today (i live in wisconsin), and it’s suppose to be 28 degrees. I have 2 large dogs, one a shephard mix, the other an anitolean shephard. I have to run a few errands, and i know they would be fine…but…..i’m definately double thinking this due to all of the people who may say something, or worse yet, try to “SAVE” my dogs. Arggghhh…

  21. Jennifer Lafon says:

    I have to go to the hospital. I will be with my dog most of the time. Yet I have to go inside for 20 min. The temp outside is 55° outside. I live in California.

  22. Onna Keys says:

    Seems it’s ok to leave my dog in the car w it’s 60-70 degrees.
    I hate not taking her with me and would never do so if temps higher than 70 or below 40.

  23. Evie says:

    I always take my dog with me when the temperatures are reasonable, as he absolutely loves riding in the car. I crack the windows if I go inside a store and he’s usually asleep when I get back, never panting or showing any signs of distress. Dogs are a lot hardier than we think and we pamper them too much, they’re nearly wolves for Pete’s sake. Obviously use common sense, don’t take them when it’s hot out and if you’re even slightly uncomfortable with the temperature- imagine what your fur covered friend will be feeling. Also, if your dog doesn’t do well waiting in the car and freaks out and gets into things or barks like a maniac at people- invest in some training or don’t bring them along. To say that there’s no safe temperature to leave a dog in the car in, is a little ridiculous though, in my opinion.

    1. Brit says:

      A car can get very hot very quick even with the Windows cracked on a 60 degree day. Its also illegal in 27 states. One of these days someone will see it and call the law on you or take the dog which they would be in there right to do.

      1. MZ603 says:

        This is just not true. I have tested this. 60 degrees is fine. If I run to the store to pick up an item or two and I’m back in under 15 min, I have no problem bringing my dog. Nothing is absolute. It’s ok to bring your dog sometimes. What am I supposed to do on a cross-country tour? You think it would be ok for the “law” to come take my dog if I run into a rest area? I’m about to bring my pup with me while I run to the store to grab some Jalapeño for doña.

      2. Joe says:

        What a simplistic and mindless response. If the windows are all up and the car is left in full direct sun sure it will heat up. You’re obvious judgement not knowing the full details is pretty telling.

    2. Ellen says:

      How long do people leave a pet inside a carrier or cage.
      Lying in a car that is ventilated at outdoor temps below 65 and above 40 with water for 20 minutes should be reasonable and if you know how your dog behaves in a vehicle. I want to take my dog to the park for longer walks. But it’s 12 miles away so a quick run to pick up milk or few things should be reasonable.

  24. HipTrish says:

    Leave the dog at home!

    1. Laura says:

      That’s more cruel sometimes leaving them at home like a prisoner all the time than taking them on adventures and sometimes having to stop along the way.

  25. Joe Metelski says:

    YOU AND MOST OTHERS OFFERING ADVICE ON ANIMALS LEFT IN A CAR ALWAYS CONDITION YOUR OPINION ON LEAVING WINDOWS CRACKED. WHAT IF ALL WINDOWS ARE FULLY OPENED? DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR OPINION?

    1. Somebody says:

      Umm, so rude

    2. Me me says:

      Most people don’t leave all the windows down because the animal will jump out. Unless they have it leashed which can lead to the dog jumping out and hanging itself. Both are stupid.

      1. Kazuya Miyashita says:

        You are making a lot of assumptions. You shouldn’t restrain dogs with a leash anyways. It should be restrained with a harness, crash tested ones are the best.

    3. Chris May says:

      Preventitivevet.com says this gives you a few more minutes at best.