How Long Can a Dog Stay Inside a Car?

by Betty Lewis
    Leaving Beau alone in a car on a hot day can have lethal consequences.

    Leaving Beau alone in a car on a hot day can have lethal consequences.

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    Whether it's an errand or an extended ride, it's nice to have Beau in the car with you. Many dogs enjoy a car ride, but it can be too much of a good thing. Knowing when he needs a break and when you should travel solo is good for both of you.

    Long Distance Car Time

    If you've taken a long road trip, you understand how tiring it can be, though you're seemingly doing nothing. Whether driving or riding, you're sitting in the same position for hours; bathroom and snack breaks are welcome diversions. It's the same for Beau, who should be in a secured crate for safe travel. A good rule of thumb is to stop every two hours to allow you and Beau to stretch your legs. If you're traveling through the night and Beau typically sleeps through the night, you should be OK to stop when it suits you. If Beau's still a puppy, however, he will need a stop or two during the night.

    Trips Around Town

    Beau may be your best pal, but if you're running errands on a hot day, leave him home. A dog should never be left alone in a car on a hot day. On an 85-degree day, your car will reach 102 degrees in about 10 minutes, even with the windows cracked. Dogs can overheat quickly, experiencing dehydration, drooling, high heart rate and even collapse.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis has been writing professionally since 2000, specializing in animal care and issues, business analysis and homeland security. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University as well as master’s degrees from Old Dominion University and Tulane University.

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