How Long Can You Leave Your Dog In The Car?

- Any pet owner knows that dogs

can quickly become an important part of the family.

We like to take them along for the ride whenever we can.

It's probably okay to leave them in the car, right?

Let's ask some people and see what they think.

All the puppies!

Say it's like a 75 degree day.

- Okay.

- How long do you think you can leave your dog in the car?

- 20 minutes?

- Two minutes to just run in,

buy some toothpaste, and get out.

- Maybe five minutes.

- 10 minutes would even be a long time.

- Ideally, I would not leave a dog in a car

but I think 10 minutes with the windows down.

- 15 minutes tops.

- I don't know, like an hour?

- Look at him!

- So what happens when there's a long line

or you get distracted inside the store?

In order to understand this better,

I decided to sit in my car to see what it really feels like.

Okay so I'm going to sit in here for 10 minutes.

I don't have any windows cracked

but according to the AMVA,

cracking the windows actually makes very little difference.

- Listen, the car is a perfect storm for pets.

What we worry about is they're

not used to a really hot car.

It's humid in there because they're panting,

there's no ventilation and a lot of times, there's no water.

This is dangerous for pets and dangerous in general.

- According to the thermometer,

it just hit 90 degrees in here.

- If you're getting hot, you stay calm.

That's not how dogs think.

They don't think, "I'm getting warm,

"I'm getting hot, let me be calm."

No, they get more anxious.

- I'm going to take off my jacket

because it's freaking hot.

I'm starting to sweat.

- They do sweat a little bit between their paws,

a little bit on the top of their nose,

but that's it and so dogs mainly cool themselves

through something called evaporative cooling.

That means they pant.

The harder you pant, the more worked up you're getting,

and now you're getting even hotter.

- This is terrible.

- You get a dog who's panting, who's overheated,

kidneys can start to shut down,

we can see direct heat damage to the brain.

Multi-organ failure is the take home message here.

- I am starting to get like lethargic

and sleepy and sweaty and really,

really uncomfortable.

- And that's why a lot of dogs,

if you see them, they're getting hot,

you'll notice them getting more dull,

they'll seem listless, lethargic,

just not themselves.

- This is, I'm get, this is getting so gross.

I'm so sweating and this is terrible.

- I will say this: Never leave a dog in a hot car,

never leave the windows up,

always keep your dog out in an area

that's fully ventilated.

- All done?

10 minutes and the car is over 95 degrees right now.

That sucks, that's terrible.

Ah, the breeze feels so good.

I'm so happy to be out of that car.

- If you do have a pet who you think is having heat stroke,

there's some keys to preventing

the worst from happening.

Get your dog to a vet, wrap him in cool towels,

blast the AC, and never submerge them.

- That sucks, that sucks.

It gets really hot and it sucks even worse for pets

because they don't know what's happening.

They're just there, miserable and confused.

- I'd rather have a vet say to you, "Everything's fine,

"just having a little bit of heat stress,"

which is a mild form of heat stroke,

than to say, "You waited too late."

So when in doubt, go to the vet.

- So what can you do if you see a dog in danger?

The Humane Society suggests taking down

the license plate, model, and make of the car

and having local businesses try to locate the pet owner

but if that doesn't work, you can call the local,

non-emergency police line or animal control

and wait for them by the car.

What do you have to say, Belle?

Great, just chewing the microphone, perfect.