How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Car while Traveling

What are the best ways to keep a dog cool in the car? How to keep your dog cool in the car while traveling to a long-distance and what is the accurate and safe temperature to leave a dog in the car? You must be looking for the answers to these questions if you have recently bought a dog, and you are one of those peoples who enjoy going on road trips every now and then. Isn’t it?

If you own a pet, you must try to be as careful and loving towards them as they are to you. The unconditional love that they bestow on us, without caring about our status or behavior is one strong reason why we must also show our selfless love towards them.

how to keep a dog cool in the car
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They do not expect anything from us in return for their love, but we, being the best creation of the living beings, must understand how we can keep them happy and healthy as long as they are our domestic pets.

If you have a pet dog at home and you are traveling with the pet to a place where you have to keep it inside a parked car for a longer period, then you must know the best way to keep your dog safe in the car to avoid any kind of unruly happenings.

Wondering how you can do that, given the fact that cars get heated very quickly and it is not too easy to keep your dog safe in the scorching heat of summers? Well, you can get the answer here in this article as to how to keep your dog cool in a hot car and keep them safe, healthy, and active. Read on to know more about the same

Also read: 18 Most Essential Dog Car Travel Accessories You Must Have

Is It Safe to Leave Your Dog in the Car?

Most dogs are prone to heatstroke and when you leave your dog in the car for long hours, you make your pet prone to heatstroke as the car gets heated very quickly. Not only for the air but to keep your dog safe in the car you must also look for the fact that your car is not too cold either.

how to keep your dog cool in the car

Managing the right temperature for your car is mandatory when you are leaving your pet inside the car for long hours. You can either run a heater when it’s too cold or you can run a cooler when it’s too hot, to balance the temperature. You can also try for methods such as cracking the window or keeping the window open for a while when it’s too hot.

At what temperature can you leave a dog in the car? What temperature is too hot for a dog to be in a car?

If you want the precise answer to these questions and want to acquire all the important facts about the safe temperature to leave a dog in a car then this car temperature dog safety chart created by The Tufts Animal Condition and Care (TACC) system might help you in understanding everything. Learn how hot is too hot for a dog to be in a car:

safe temperature to leave dog in car

You can also try methods like keeping your car in the shade to avoid it from being too hot. Also, if you are planning to implement the method of leaving your window seal open then make sure you tie your dog with a dog car harness or safe dog crate for car travel so that it cannot jump off your car or go outside without you knowing about it.

Generally, it is recommended that you do not keep your dog in the car for more than 5 minutes under parked conditions. And even if you are doing so, mainly in summer then you must know ways of keeping a dog cool in the car to avoid any dangerous conditions. As the car can go from 70 degrees to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in about 20 minutes, and you cannot take uncalculated risks with your pets to leave them inside your car in the hot summer days. Always take preventive measures before you keep your pet inside your car when you park it.

What are the Risks of Leaving Your Dog in the Car?

Most of the pet owners (and car owners) think that keeping their dogs inside their car for some time would be fine if they keep their window cracked or even leave the windowpane open for sometimes. But seldom do they know that keeping the furry friend inside can be more dangerous than they can think about.

In fact, your dog can suffer from severe health problems when kept inside a parked car, even for a few minutes. The safe temperature to leave a dog in the car is above the freezing level and below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond this point, your dog can show signs of heatstroke and other health-related difficulties. The temperature inside a car can rise 30 to 50 degrees within a few minutes than what is outside and hence you must be very careful when you leave your loving pet inside.

how to keep a dog cool in a car

What happens to your dog when you leave it in a hot car for a long time? Well, in medical terms, exposure to excessive heat causes the body cells to stop working as they are supposed to and begin to release dangerous chemicals. Essentially, all of the dog’s organ systems shut down at once.

Since here we are talking about the best ways to keep your dog safe in the car, you should also be factually familiar with the signs and symptoms of heatstroke in dogs. The most common signs that your dog is suffering from heatstroke include:

  • Excessive salivation
  • Bright red gums
  • Excessive panting and difficulty in breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Collapsing or convulsing
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils

These are the signs that you should look out for in your pet to understand the difficulty they might be facing when left inside a parked car during the summers. If at most you need to leave your pet inside your car and stepped outside then you must know how to keep your dog cool in the car so that they do not fall prey under any such circumstances that might cause their health to suffer.

Is It Illegal to Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car?

If you know that leaving a dog in the car law is how strict, you might never want to leave the furry friend inside. But it might not be the same in every place. The laws of jurisdiction vary amongst place to place regarding the safekeeping of the pets. Every year, it’s seen that many such dogs die because they are left on the car by their owners who do not know the consequences of such actions.

Not only you may be fined for your actions but the officials might also break and mold your vehicle forcefully to take your pet out of the car if they find it in any such condition. Not every state, but many of them have made it illegal to keep the dogs inside a parked vehicle, even for a few minutes.

 laws that deal with animals left in unattended vehicles

You can check out this list of State Laws that Protect Animals Left in Parked Vehicles, according to which approximately 31 states have laws that deal with animals left in unattended vehicles. So whenever the next time you take your pet along with you for a drive, you must know the consequences of leaving your dog in the car and the best way to keep your dog safe in the car.

6 Best Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Car while Traveling

We all love our pets, don’t we? And if we love them we must also be careful about their health. When your dog suffers from any physical ailments due to your irresponsible behavior, you wouldn’t like it. That’s why being responsible is the key to keeping your dog cool in the car on road trips.

Here I present to you some of the best ways to keep your dog cool in the car during the summer season. You can easily implement the following methods to save your dog from the heat while traveling. Here we go:

1. Don’t Leave Your Dog Unattended in the Car

It is understandable that you need to go to some places without your pet and that refrains you from taking your dog along with you but you must also understand that leaving your dog unattended in the car can be very dangerous. If at all you cannot remain in the car with your dog at least try that someone else stays with your pet.

Also, you must know all the essential ways to keep your dog cool in the car so that the pet does not face any severe heat traumas while inside the car. As the temperature inside cars can escalate too quickly, it is recommended that you do not keep your pet unattended in the car and always provide some company with it.

Sometimes, if you do not find anyone to look after your dog, you can use a dog harness or dog travel crate to keep your dog outside of the car and leave it there until you return. This could be the best possible idea to keep your dog safe while you complete your work.

2. Keep Your Car Windows Open and Leave the AC On

If you’re wondering about how to keep your dog safe in the car then this one might prove to be extremely useful to you. When you are going out of the car for some work and you cannot take your furry friend with you, try implementing such methods that keep your dog cool in the car and prevent any danger.

You can keep the windows of your car open and tie your dog with a harness or crate to refrain from going outside. But it can still be dangerous in some aspects as the heat outside of the car is also not helpful. So, one more thing that you can do is to keep the AC of the car on till you return so that the inside remains cooler and that makes your dog comfortable.

When the car keeps heating with time it can cause havoc to the health of the dog which in turn can even lead to its death. So, to avoid any such instances, you must keep the windows open and the AC of the car on while you go out.

3. Provide Plenty of Cold Water to Keep Your Dog Hydrated

It is very important for living beings to remain hydrated during the scorching summer heats and the same applies to dogs as well. It is evident that you will carry water for your pet when you go out but make sure you can provide the same to the dog from time to time to keep it hydrated.

This is one very important step as to how to keep your dog cool in a hot car and you must follow this with all heart. You must carry cold water along with you when you travel with your dog in the sweltering days of summer. You must also carry a bowl (spill proof dog bowl) or portable dog water bottle from which the dog can find it easy to drink water.

Keep the bowl full of cold water when you go out so that your pet can keep drinking water from it more often. Also, you can arrange for some water sprinkling feature on your car which can make your dog wet, if you don’t mind the car being wet and dry. Or in case, if you are using a waterproof car seat covers for dogs.

4. Get a Dog Cooling Vest for Your Dog

Just like humans wear clothes, dogs too can wear cooling vests to remain in cooler body temperature while inside a car in the blistering heat of summer. If you have to go out while keeping your dog in the car for long hours, you can tie the cooling vests around its neck so that it can feel comfortable inside the car.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog can’t move, it can move in the car even when wearing the cooling vest. These dog cooling vests come in different categories and you must choose one which best suits your needs. As the temperature inside the car can increase rapidly when the outside heat is scorching, you must take measures as to how to keep a dog cool in the car if at all you can not take your pet along with you.

It is verily needed to be sure that the dogs do not suffer from heatstroke and other such serious health issues when they are kept inside parked cars in the seasons of summer.

5. Cool Dog Collars and Cooling Pad for Dogs

Severe heat inside the car can make your dog agitated while you go out of the car during trips. It is not that the dogs need many hours to feel the heat, the cars turn into heat boxes very rapidly and thus it becomes very hot inside the car, even more than the temperature outside. In a few minutes, it can increase up to 20 to 30 degrees and thus it is mandatory that you know how to keep your dog calm in the car while you step outside in the scorching heat of summer.

You can get cool dog collars and cooling pads for dogs which can be very useful for you when you travel with your dog and have to leave them alone inside a parked car. These coolings pads and collars can add extra coolness to the dog, leaving it comfortable even inside a car during the hot summer days.

You can get these dog car travel accessories (collars, cooling pads, and cooling mats for dogs) easily in the pet supermarket or you can also order them at lower prices from Amazon. Don’t think much about the prices of these items, these aren’t quite pricey.

6. Install Car Sun Shades and Portable Fans

Wondering how to keep a dog cool in a car on road trips? Well, here is another suitable answer. You can install car sun shades and portable fans inside your car to add the extra coolness for your dog. Though you still have an AC to provide the maximum comfort and coolness to the dog when you have to keep it inside a parked car while you go out, still you need to include some extra features so that your dog remain cooler during the hot weather and do not suffer from any kind of discomfort during its stay inside the car.

The car sunshade would literally keep the car at a much lower temperature than what it will be otherwise. As the temperature of the car rises very rapidly when it is kept parked, these sunshades can be very protective and beneficial to keep the car at a much lower temperature. Also, the portable fans would allow the dog to remain cooler and freshen up than normal which is beneficial for its health.

What to Do if You See a Dog Locked in a Hot Car?

By now you already know how to keep your dog cool while traveling, how hot is too hot for a dog in a car, and the danger of leaving a dog alone in a car, etc. But do you know what to do if you find any other such pet locked in the car?

Well, let’s discuss the possibilities that can be done when you find such instances. Here’s what to do if you find a dog locked in a car:

Action 1: Gather the Car’s Information and Notify Others

It is easy to take care of your own pet and apply ways of keeping a dog cool in the car. But when someone else’s pet suffers like this, you must also take quick action to save the dog from the health hazards of heatstroke.

The first thing that you must do is to gather the car’s information (vehicle’s model, make, color, and license plate number, etc.) or take a picture of it so that you can send it to the concerned authorities for further processing. You must also notify others of the heinous act and sort for their help to take the dog out of the car.

You can also dial the animal control department numbers or the nearby police with all the information that you have so that you can get all the immediate help needed to rescue the dog out of the car and provide it a safer atmosphere.

Action 2: If You Can’t Find the Owner, Call the Authorities

Sometimes, finding the right owner of the vehicle and taking care of the dog can seem to be difficult. In such cases, dialing the emergency contact numbers on your phone can come to your rescue.

You should call and inform the authorities and ask for their help to asses the situation. If you are in a dilemma as to whether to ask for their help or not and where to keep searching for the owner, then you must know that you are putting the dog in more danger.

The pet can die of heatstroke and can suffer from other such health severities which your quick action might save them from. So, you must not waste too much time and call the right authorities for taking quick action on the situation.

Action 3: If the Authorities Take Too Long, Take Action by Yourself

We all love dogs, don’t we? And so, we cannot really see a dog suffering in silence when we can rescue it with all our efforts. It is not illegal or unauthentic to break the windowpane of a car to rescue a dog when it is found to be locked in the parked cars.

If the owner of the car and the dog leaves the pet inside with locked doors and windows in the scorching heat then you must first inform the authorities and wait for them to arrive and handle the situation in time.

But if you see that they are taking too long to do the needful or arrive in the spot then you must take things on your hand and start the rescue process by yourself. You can break the window seal to take the dog out of the car and provide all the needed safety and comfort. Surely, the owner would appreciate you more than holding you guilty of breaking his window glass.

Final Words on How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Car while Traveling

As we have headed towards the end of the article, it is likely that by now you are accustomed to all the essential and best ways to keep your dog cool in the car if you are traveling with the pet in the hot and humid weather of the summer. It is obvious that we all love our pets and by no means do we want it to be hurt, more so if the situation is created by us.

So according to me, it is best if you can leave your pet at home while you are traveling outside in the sunny weather. If at all you have to take the dog along with you, by no means you should leave the pet alone in a parked car. Rather you should find ways to keep the dog cool inside the car by using a fan, AC and other cooling methods as mentioned in this guide above.

You must not only care for your own pet but also rescue other dogs if you find them in any such situation where they are left inside the car by the owner. It is both deadly and unlawful to leave your pet dog inside a car when you are going outside without taking any proper measures of keeping a dog cool in the car in the hot and sunny weather. So, this is my perspective on how to keep your dog cool in the car during the summers and keep them safe, healthy and happy as well.

Please, feel free to let us know via the comments – Which cooling method works best for you in order to keep your dog safe in the car? And how do you keep your dog cool in a car while traveling during the summer?

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About Amy Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars. I enjoy working on cars in my spare time and love anything related to automobiles. I like using different types of car accessories, car gadgets, and innovative car care products.

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