Dog in Car - How long?
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Thread: Dog in Car - How long?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lucky Dog's Avatar
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    Dog in Car - How long?

    Ok how long is it safe to keep a dog in the car? I know not to leave the "girl" in the car in warm/hot weather. Limited trips to the store/park/beach. But what about the cold weather? Are there guidelines too?

    I went into the grocery store this am ( 10 ish) it was about 27 outside. I went in for JUST MILK, maybe in the store 15 minutes tops. And I came back out and found a note on my window that I was not to do this again or they would report me for animal abuse!!!! Dang the car was still warm in side. and the window was cracked a couple of inches. Now I do not have a small, no hair type dog. I have a full grown Aussie - with a very good winter coat on her already. In addition the back seat has a nice polar fleece comforter on it. This dog loves to spend her time outside no matter what the weather is. Sometimes I have to drag her in. I doubt she was cold or over heated.

    So how long have you left your dog in the car? Do you do errands with them?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Shaina's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    I've left mine in the car for 15 minutes when it was in the mid-30s, but it was sunny and I cranked the heat up the last 5 minutes before we arrived, so it was plenty warm. Like your dog, mine had lots of blankets and a thick double-coat, and it was still warm and toasty when I returned...she was just sitting in the back looking around at all the people. She was also secured in the back seat by her car harness, so its not like she could have gone far or started eating loose change in the front cupholder.

    I didn't get any hate mail on my car, but I've only done it the once: I remembered I was out of milk on our way back from the pet store, and I doubt Kroger would have appreciated my dog in their store.

    The one thing I didn't think of, but saw in a recent post: apparently if you have a purebred, or something that looks like a purebred/valuable dog, people can and do break into cars to steal them In general I would just avoid it if at all possible. Also, in the winter I wouldn't recommend cracking the window...your car has enough ventilation normally that its not like your dog is going to run out of oxygen, and when it's that cold you really don't want the extra air movement.

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    Senior Member MegaMuttMom's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    I do the same thing with my dog, in fact, when my husband goes to the convenience store, he takes the dog for a car ride. I suppose that person thought they were doing the right thing. They don't know how long your dog had been there. I have seen people leave their dogs in the car with the motor running to keep them warm. Now I think that's stupid.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    You may want to check your State's laws. I know in California it's illegal to leave an animal unattended in a vehicle when it's deemed unnecessary cruelty, whether in heat or not.

    From SB 1806...
    This bill would state findings and declarations regarding the
    consequences of leaving companion animals unattended inside
    closed vehicles in the heat. This bill would provide that leaving
    or confining an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under
    conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal
    due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or
    water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected
    to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal is a crime
    punishable by a fine, imprisonment in a county jail, or both fine
    and imprisonment, as specified.

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    Senior Member sheplovr's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Hey honey I went the other night to grocery store, colder than ???/
    I have my van seats covered, so she had something to lay on was inside most likely half hour, a Shepherd has tons of undergrowth, so I do not worry about the cold unless below zero then I do NOT go out lol. I have a dog with me anytime summer the van runs with air on. I am never without one of my 7 Shepherds, I never lock my van with alot of meds picked up and packages, nobody comes near it ha ha.



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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Even in moderate temperatures, I would not leave my dogs in the car for longer than it takes to pump $40 worth of gas - for the safety of the car.

    BTW, I pay at the pump.

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    Senior Member Dutchie's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Some ppl go over board- back when we had our old dog( large hound) my dad ran in to grab some beer (fishing day at the cottage) it was a small town and many people have their dogs around hanging out at the lake. He was in there for not even 5 mins, not to mention he cranked up the AC before leaving the truck and left the window open a crack. He came out to a lady ready to smash to window. He yelled for her to stop. The dog wasnt even panting and always went for rides in the truck. Crazy ppl. I try not to leave petra in the car for this reason.
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    Senior Member Durbkat's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    I have left Snoopy in the back seat sometimes when we go places. We just crack the windows and lock the doors and put a towel in the back and most of the time we come back to find him sleeping. But we would never do it during the summer as he gets hot easily.


  10. #9
    Senior Member Mdawn's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    It could be that the person wasn't aware of the short amount of time that you were in the store. They could have assumed that you were away for much longer period of time.

    Personally, I DON'T take my dogs in the car unless they can go inside every place that I stop. If I'm alone with them and discover I need something from the store, I take them home and then come back (it wastes gas I know). It's not because I'm afraid that they will over heat in the summer or get too cold in the winter. It's because I have an English Mastiff that I love more than life itself and a Lab, who I love just as much, and is most probably pure Lab (though was a stray) and I don't want them stolen. If my bf is with me, the one of us will sit in the car with the dogs while the other runs into the store. I especially worry about this with my Mastiff because people always notice him and want to ask about him and pet him. If I'm waiting out in the car with him, people always stop and comment on him. It worries me, I guess because I'm naturally suspicious of strange people. I'm really weird about that, I know.

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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    lol write a note on your window "BE RIGHT BACK!" so they know next time heh

  12. #11
    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    I do take my dogs on errands, but only those that don't require my going inside where I cannot see them. Things can (and do) happen to unattended dogs. I feel the risk is too great.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    Even in moderate temperatures, I would not leave my dogs in the car for longer than it takes to pump $40 worth of gas - for the safety of the car.

    BTW, I pay at the pump.
    LOL! My thoughts exactly.

    I'm just not comfortable with leaving my dog unattended like that, you never know.

  14. #13
    Senior Member the-tenth's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but unlike the heat, it does not get colder in the car during the winter than it does outside, correct? So I can have my dogs out in my yard at 20 degrees and not be able to get them back in, because they don't want to come in....but I can't leave them in the car for ten minutes? Some people just go around looking for things to complain about. Even if it's in the name of Animal welfare, or child welfare, or ______, or ______. There are dogs all over the world that stay outside alll the time, even in the winter. My girls live a very good life, and enjoy going on rides in the car. If they haven't frozen to death in my backyard, then they'll be OK for a portion of that time in my vehicle.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    I believe the terms for being outside during winter are the same for being in a car during the winter. You must provide shelter, water, food, and ventilation. If you can do all this, you can leave your dog in the car or outside in your backyard. At least that's how I read California law. Not something I'd recommend, however, I've seen quite a few dogs teased while in a car, and reports of dogs being stolen...along with the stereo.
    Last edited by Curbside Prophet; 12-07-2007 at 08:35 AM.

  16. #15
    Senior Member nlkeple's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    I will be honest I used to leave Jester in the car all the time in the winter. We live in Florida and in the winter the highs are in the upper 60's to the mid 70's and the lows almost never get below 40. Before I had kids, him and I would take off and just travel around the state camping and having lots of fun. My husband's schedule has always been more restrictive than mine and so often it would be just me and Jester. I would crack the windows and be back after I went to the bathroom or whatever I was running in for. I came out once just in time to stop some crazy lady from breaking my window...hello the windows were cracked enough for her to be able to tell that he was perfectly fine. Anyways after that I would put a sign in the window. It said

    The dog is fine, but if you break my window I will sue you!!

    I know that leaving dogs in the car is very controversial, but I don't care. I know that the time it took me to go to the bathroom, or get a drink from the convenience store did not ever put him in any danger, and Jester was actually having a more fulfilling life by being able to travel with me rather than having to stay home all day waiting for my dh to get off work, or being boarded.

    Now dh and I travel together and so we tag team, one will stay with the car while the other goes in. If I were to travel by myself somewhere again and the weather was appropriate I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

    I would check and see what the laws are where you live though so that you can't get into any trouble.

  17. #16
    Senior Member the-tenth's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    I believe the terms for being outside during winter are the same for being in a car during the winter. You must provide shelter, water, food, and ventilation. If you can do all this, you can leave your dog in the car or outside in your backyard. At least that's how I read California law. Not something I'd recommend, however, I've seen quite a few dogs teased while in a car, and reports of dogs being stolen...along with the stereo.
    I personally don't provide food and water for the girls when we go outside to play, or for them to go to the bathroom no matter how cold it is. I guess it's good I'm not in Cali!

  18. #17
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Quote Originally Posted by the-tenth View Post
    I personally don't provide food and water for the girls when we go outside to play, or for them to go to the bathroom no matter how cold it is. I guess it's good I'm not in Cali!
    If you're going outside with them to play or while they eliminate, you're providing supervision, which is absent when one leaves them in a car, on public property. Even if you leave them outside to play on their own for an hour or two or all day, if you allow them back inside, you're still providing food, shelter, water in your home, correct? This being true, you're welcome to Cali anytime! My statement would not apply to you however, your dogs aren't "outside" dogs. In which case, most jurisdictions, by law, would require you to provide shelter, food, water, outside. On public property, however, the interpretation of the law would be made by the enforcing officer. I say why take the risk, even for convenience sake, by leaving your dog unattended in a car, for someone else, someone with authority, to determine your negligence? Not for me, and not with my dog.

  19. #18
    Senior Member Lucky Dog's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Thanks for allthe great replies, it gives me many things to think about. I am in MA and right now there isn't any guildlines/regs that I can find about leaving the dog IN the car in the winter.

    I guess this will be a personal choice for me whether to leave her in the car or not. I guess I will again if I can see her while I am in the store to pick up milk. Most of the stores I go to I can bring her in with me, pet store, post office, town office, grain store, hair dressers. I will just have to be a better planner, but I will travel with her - she loves the car! Thanks again.

  20. #19
    Senior Member RBark's Avatar
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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    Ollie loves to chill on the stone outside at night, I've taken a temp gun to it and it read 30 degrees. Really really cold. This is late at night, I always leave my door to outside open so he chooses to come in and out whenever he wants (yes, that leads to a very cold room... my room is usually 40 degrees or so.)

    When snow comes I bet anything that he will be laying there when it's below 0. I leave him in the car all the time as I take him with me anytime I go on a quick errand, he loves the car rides and always waits for me patiently in the car. I leave windows closed and the truck locked.

    I think he would hate it worse not coming with me, he is always excited for the car rides.

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    Re: Dog in Car - How long?

    One time when we were on vacation someone called the police on us for having the animals in the car, we were stopped at a Subway and it was like 80* out so we left the car running and locked with the AC on high and went into eat. We were sitting by the window and watching the car when a policemen pulls up and is looking around the car so naturally we go out there, and they said they got a call about the dogs and cats in a car with the windows shut, apparently the person didnt get close enough to see it was still running LOL The only time that we ever leave them in the car is when we are on our way to camping so its always warm out when we are. We have left them in the car when we were on the way to my grandparents house for christmas before (its like 3 hrs away) and they stayed in the car for like 10 mins when it was snow on the ground, so under 32* and when we came back the car was still really warm.

    Our dogs love to ride in the car too

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