Running Errands With Your Dog In the Car….Don’t do it!

Like most people, I love being with my dog, Diesel, as much as possible. That includes bringing him with me when I run errands. Many stores will let me bring Diesel in with me; but there are some that don’t. That’s really a bummer. So what are my options? Well, in the summertime, the best option is to leave him at home and that’s my advice to you.

While walking in extreme heat, dogs are at risk to suffer a heat stroke. But leaving a dog in a hot car greatly increases the risks of heat stroke or death for your dog. I often hear “but I leave my windows cracked.” Unfortunately, leaving a window cracked makes no difference whatsoever.

Energy/Heat from the sun passes through the glass windows and windshields of the car and it warms the interior. Most of that energy stays inside the car. Even on a cloudy day, the temperatures outside are high enough to cause your car to heat up like an oven. The interior of the car is heating at a much faster rate than the energy is escaping the car whether the windows are shut or cracked open. There isn’t enough of an exchange of air to keep the car cool enough for your pet to be inside.

In addition, your dog can’t possibly regulate his body temperature to withstand this kind of heat. Dogs don’t sweat like humans do. They cool themselves off by panting and sweating through their paws. But, if they only have the hot air to breathe, they are not able to lower their body temperatures enough to keep them out of danger of a heat stroke or death.

There is a lot of information about how cars get hot, how long it takes to get hot, why dogs are at risk for heat stroke, but this graphic really sums it up….

Leaving your dog with water to drink won’t help. Neither will parking in the shade. Or running errands on a cloudy day.

You love your dog, so leave him at home when you run errands!

The following video elaborates more on this important safety subject.


  1. Thank you so much for your article. It really gives me information that I am looking for 🙂

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