5 Things You Should Do If You See A Dog In A Hot Car

It Happens Every Year

I love to take my dogs with me everywhere I go. Do you? But, sometimes I’m out and remember that I need just that one thing from the store. I don’t want to go all the way home and drop the dogs off and then have to go all the way back to the store. What if I just leave them in the car for a second?

brown dog in a car with blurred background and window up
Please don’t leave me in a hot car

Does that sound familiar? Has it happened to you? It happens every year. We see the reports and the sad consequences every year. We humans, have to to be reminded over and over, it seems.

Every year, dogs suffer and die because their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car—even for “just a minute”—while they run an errand. (Although the above scenario is a true statement, I have never left my dogs alone in the car no matter the temperature and no matter the inconvenience). A Parked Car is a Death Trap for Your Dog!

Just don’t do it! Make the extra trip back home to drop them off in the cool, air-conditioned house. A parked car is virtually the same as leaving them in an oven. Even when it is a nice breezy 78-degree day, the temperature inside can get to between 100 to 126 degrees in just minutes, even with the windows cracked.

On a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a car can soar to 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Just don’t risk it.

What should you do if you see a dog left in a car?

  • Get information
  • Notify Someone
  • Monitor the dog
  • Educate
  • Call for help

Get necessary information and alert someone

First, write down the car’s color, make and model. Be sure to get the license number or even take a picture of it. If there is time, go to the nearest store and alert the manager. But, remember it only takes minutes for a dog to suffer brain damage! Ask the manager to page the owner of the car in case they are in that store. BE PERSISTENT! Now is not the time to be shy.

Stay with and monitor the dog

If that doesn’t work, go back outside and wait by the car and watch the dog. When the owner appears, Politely share with them some facts. Fill out the form below to download a free flyer with some alarming facts.

If the owner doesn’t show and the dog is in distress

If the owner doesn’t show up or doesn’t do anything, call animal control. Tell them the situation, if they can’t come immediately, call 911. Do whatever you have to, to save the dog’s life.


Do what you have to do to save the dog’s life, but don’t be rude or get into an argument with the owner. Remember that person is probably not a monster, just an uninformed person. But, if confronted in a rude way that person may become defensive.

brown and whit chihuahua in car looking out the front window
Dogs can’t cool themselves off the same way humans can.

Fill out the form to download the PDF flyer you can share with others. Print it out and keep it with you, you never know when you will have the opportunity to help educate others and perhaps save a dog’s life. It’s absolutely free.



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