Monday, July 19, 2010

Hot car dangers for dogs

A comfortable 82 degree summer day can quickly turn into a 109 degree oven in a closed car.  An even cooler 72 degree summer day can turn into a 116 degree oven over the course of an hour, and keeping the windows cracked only slows the heat up marginally.  While it is great to take your dog along for fun summer trips, you should avoid trips would require your dog to sit in the hot car for even a few minutes.  Heat stroke can begin in as few as 10 minutes at those temperatures.  The folks at have some more resources for understanding the dangers hot cars for dogs.

ABC's What Would You Do did a little experiment to see how strangers would respond to a hot dog in a car.  It seemed that some firefighters even let the culprit off the hook, but some dog loving women and a teenage boy recognized the life threatening situation and called 911.  In the experiment, the dog was not in any danger--in fact, she was an actor!  They had a hidden A/C unit running in the car and a trainer hiding on the floor commanding the dog to bark and pant.   Hopefully the televised experiment will show people the dangers of hot cars, and know that it is ok to call the police if you witness this happening.  Here is the video from the segment on the show:


  1. Interestingly, we visited Hilton Head Island earlier this year. We stopped by the mall at Shelter Cove Harbour, which has a very interesting solution for people who may want to leave their dogs in the car while they shop. The solution ... BRING THE DOGS INSIDE! That's right, the mall allows you to bring your leashed, well-behaved dog with you!

  2. Many malls allow you to bring your dog in. In fact here in San Diego the malls are outdoors, so you can definitely bring your dog, they even have poop bag stations. But not all stores welcome dogs, most do though and some even have treats for the pups who stop in.

  3. Thank you so much for this educational piece on the dangers of keeping dogs in hot cars and for referencing! We appreciate it and are glad that people are spreading the word about this issue!

  4. I hadn't seen that TV segment. It's interesting. That darling boy I'm married to nearly got into a fist fight with a couple who had left their dog in a hot, black car, with the windows up.

    He was near the car trying to figure out how he could get the dog out, when the couple returned and started talking smack to him.

    It all turned out OK. No punches thrown, and the dog was fine, but it just goes to show.

    I'm super careful about Lilly and heat in the car.