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  • Writer's pictureThousand Hills Pet Resort

4 Reasons Why You Should Never Leave Your Dog In the Car

Summer is officially here and that means warmer days! We may all be ready to enjoy a nice Summer day and, naturally, we’ll want to bring our dogs along. Perhaps you’ll be needing to run quick errands and want to bring your dogs with you. It’s only 70℉ out, it can’t be that bad right? Unfortunately, this is not true.

Here are 4 reasons you shouldn’t leave your dog in the car.

Cracking car windows doesn’t help

While it may not be that hot outside, the inside of a car can heat up pretty quickly. On days where it is 70℉, the temperature inside a car can get up to 100℉. This can happen in a matter of 20 minutes. That’s around the time it may take anyone to grab a few things at the grocery store!

What’s worse is that on even hotter days the temperature of the inside of a car can reach up to 140℉. So while people may be going on a quick errand, dogs are put in a very dangerous situation by being trapped in a hot car.

Dogs can experience dehydration

When dogs encounter heat, they pant in an attempt to keep their bodies cool. Through panting, dogs lose water. While dogs are in a hot car, they are unable to replace lost body fluids like water and electrolytes that are essential for healthy functioning.

Dogs can get a heatstroke

As stated above, dogs pant in an attempt to cool off. But with the inside of a car’s rising temperature, a dog cannot cool itself off fast enough to be out of danger. Heatstrokes have several effects on a dog’s body.

The effects of a heat stroke include:

excessive panting, high body temperature, darkened tongue and gums, dizziness, vomiting, body collapse, multiple organ failure, and death.

So while it may only be 70℉ outside the inside of the car may be 100℉. The reality is, a dog can die of a heat stroke when the temperature of the inside of the car reaches 107℉.

Dogs can get brain damage

Even if a dog survives a heat stroke, it will still have to deal with the adverse effects. Sadly, dogs that live after suffering from a heat stroke can have brain swelling. This is largely because a heat stroke affects several parts of a dog’s body. The brain damage is caused by the shock of the multi-organ dysfunction that heat strokes play a part in.

Final words

Before you take your dog along with you to run errands, check the temperature outside, think about how hot it will get inside your car, and make the conscious decision to leave your dog at home. Leaving them at home could save their life!

Our pet resort offers short daycare sessions of 3 hours that are perfect for errand running. So if you don’t want your dog to be home alone, bring them to daycare!


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All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.



Temperature infographic: Department of Earth & Climate Sciences, SFSU


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