Hot cars are a pet’s biggest enemy.

Many pet owners don’t know just how extreme temperatures can get when a dog or cat are left inside a motor vehicle unattended.

Bringing the heat

You may be tempted to bring your furry friend with you when running errands, but this can quickly turn into a dangerous situation. Leaving your dog alone in the car, whether it’s on a mild or hot day, can put your pet at risk of serious illness and even death. This is because temperatures in your car can rapidly rise, and dogs can become dehydrated and develop heat stroke. Read on to learn more about the dangers of leaving your pet in a hot car.

Temperatures of parked vehicles

It’s critical to never leave your pet inside a parked car, even if it’s just for a few minutes or if the windows are cracked. Vehicles tend to magnify heat. For instance, when you leave your car in the sun and then step inside it, the interior can feel like a sauna. Automobiles can quickly warm up, even when outside temperatures are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

On a 70 F day, the inside temperature of your car can reach 89 F in 10 minutes and 104 F in 30 minutes. On warmer days, temperatures can become even more dangerous. If it’s 90 F, your car’s internal temperature can climb to 109 F in 10 minutes and 124 F in 30 minutes.

Some countires have laws that prohibit leaving your pet in a confined car during dangerous conditions. Owners can even be charged with a crime if reported.

Symptoms of heat stress

Canines have a difficult time adjusting to heat. When temperatures are high, dogs will start panting to cool down. Moreover, some dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke and dehydration than others, especially if they have thick fur coats or are elderly or overweight. Short-snouted pets such as pugs, bulldogs and boxers can have trouble breathing in hot temperatures. Health conditions can also play a role. For instance, pets with respiratory or cardiac conditions can struggle to regulate their body temperatures.

Be sure to watch for these signs of heat stress:

  •  Glazed eyes
  •  Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
  •  Rapid pulse
  •  Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Staggering gait

Alternatives to leaving your pet in the car

  • Leave your canine at home.
  • Shop at pet-friendly stores where you can bring your dog with you.
  • Bring a family member or friend along who can play with your pet outside while you

Bringing The Heat created by Figo Pet Insurance.

To learn more about the dangers of leaving pets in cars, see the resources below:


Learn more about us

Subscribe to the DAR Newsletter below:

About the author

Lizz Caputo is Content Strategist at Figo Pet Insurance — provider of the industry’s best pet insurance plans. She is an animal enthusiast and owner of a rescued senior American bully.