Yep, it’s that time of the year in the northern hemisphere: summer. And without fail, there are people who somehow feel that their dog will be just fine in the car with the window cracked because they won’t be gone long. Well… that just ain’t so!
Tests have shown that cracking windows open does not decrease the rate of temperature rise in the vehicle: with the windows closed, temperatures inside the car rise 3.4°F per 5 minutes; with the windows cracked opened 1 1/2 inches, the temperature rise in the car was 3.1°F per 5 minutes.
Vehicles heat up rapidly, with the majority of the temperature rise occurring within the first 15 to 30 minutes. Leaving the windows opened slightly does not significantly slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature attained. source
A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.
Heat stroke may occur when body temperature passes 104 degrees Fahrenheit. That overwhelms the brain’s temperature control, causing symptoms such as dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, loss of consciousness, and/or death.
So to simplify things for you, here’s a graphic of how hot it gets inside your car in warmer weather.
The bottom line? Leave your pet at home in the Summer if there is ANY chance that you cannot take them inside wherever you are going. No exceptions, no matter how brief! They can be seriously injured or even die a horrible death in just a few minutes.
And if you should be so lucky that someone sees your pet in distress and breaks your car window to save their life, then you are out your insurance deductible for the window repair and possibly (hopefully) a ticket.