Can You Leave A Dog In A Car On A Cool Day?

Can You Leave A Dog In A Car On A Cool Day?

Dogs love car rides because they can see amazing things while keeping their head out of the window. Sometimes, you have to leave your dog in the car on a cool day, suddenly attending something else. In that case, you might be worried about whether it is ok or not.

I have seen dogs enjoy car rides a lot on sunny days, keeping their tongues out and looking here and there with glowing eyes. That will be the most incredible memory they will have about the day. 

And seeing them happy and enjoying the day like this makes us content, too. So, whenever we have the chance, we will let them get into our car and let them enjoy their life a little bit more. 

But can you leave a dog in a car on a cool day? Unfortunately, leaving a dog alone in a vehicle is not wise, no matter what temperature it is. If you leave the dog in the car even on a cold day, the difference of a mere split of a second can change the whole scenario upside down and make the situation just as dangerous as leaving a dog inside a car on a hot day.

But, if there is no other way around for you, you may leave the dog in the car for not more than 10 minutes but make sure that the outside temperature is 20⁰ C to 21⁰ C. 

Can You Leave A Dog In A Car On A Cool Day?

The shortest answer is YES and NO. If you have to leave a dog in a car on a cool day, and the outside environment is not freezing cold or not boiling hot, it is possible.

Yet, although many dog experts don’t recommend you to leave a dog in a car on a cool day or under any temperature or circumstance for that matter, many of us run into situations where there is nothing else we can actually do. 

To clarify the answer “YES,” I will describe it like this. 

Suppose you have to run out for an emergency, but there is no one home to look after your pet dog. And leaving him home alone is not an option because you have no idea when you will get to return home. In that case, there is no possible alternative but to take the dog with you.

But on the way, you had to make a quick stop and leave the dog in the car. Leaving him alone will not be a problem if the outside is not too hot. But, ensure that the time you leave him like that doesn’t exceed 10 minutes. 

And if this is a cold season, but still the surrounding has warmth left in it, let’s say, around 20⁰ C to 21⁰ C, which is the only acceptable temperature for you to leave the dog in a vehicle, again, you may leave him in the car, but not for a prolonged time. 

Let me clarify the answer” NO” now. We all know that cold and heat affect our dogs a little differently than us. Therefore, although we are not feeling that much of a cold, our pets might not “woof” the same. It will only take a split second to turn the scene upside down.

The car interior may get too hot or cold for the dog to bear, and he will be on the verge of hyperthermia. Then, without even you realizing it, the pet will get frostbite or heat stroke, which is lethal to a dog’s life. 

How Cold Is Too Cold For Dogs In A Car?

The cold affects individual dogs differently depending on their sizes, ages, and fur coat types. But generally, below 45⁰ F is considered “cold” for a typical dog.

While below 20⁰ F is a lethal level of cold for any dog, at 32⁰ F, small dog breeds or dogs who have a single or thin layer of fur might fall at the risk of hyperthermia

The best way to understand the level of cold that a dog can bear is by comparing the dog to yourself. Suppose you are feeling a little chilled on a winter evening. In that case, your dog might feel as if he’s freezing.

Therefore, please remember that if you are cold, your pet is cold too. So why not share the blanket you’re using with your pet friend too?

Can A Dog Sit In A Cold Car?

Even if the car is cold and has a preferable temperature inside, leaving the pet in it for a prolonged time is not wise.

While you are gone for a long time, you might have no idea what is happening inside the car. If the shutters are all up, the interior may get a little chilly or hotter than we would prefer, depending on the weather changes.

And your dog might be relaxing inside the car without knowing that he will have to bear a high level of cold or heat in the next few moments. 

How Long Can You Leave A Dog In A Cool Car?

Dog experts do not recommend leaving any dog of any breed in a car alone, no matter the weather, for more than 10 minutes.

Some people feel comfortable leaving their pets inside the car while they go grocery shopping, etc., but it is not advisable to exceed the 10 minutes window. 

Even if you notice that the pet has hyperthermia, if you get to him as soon as you can, you still have time to revoke the situation and pull your poor pet out of the risky situation without causing lethal damage to the pet. 

While all of us dog parents love to see the pets having fun in our vehicles while we are driving around, if you have to leave a dog in a car on a cool day or a warmer day, you better reconsider pushing the plans of driving around with the pet to another day.

It may look harmless to leave a dog in a car on a cool day, but we can never foresee what will happen after you leave him alone in the car. 

Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about our four-legged furry friends. 


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

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