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Hot Dog! Can I Leave My Dog In The Car With The Window Cracked?

heatstroke pets albuquerque

Most dog owners know that you should not leave your dog in the car when it is hot, but what if you leave your window cracked? It is super hot in Albuquerque in the summer. How many times have you gotten into your car and burned your legs on the seat or even felt dizzy because the air was so hot. The temperature in your car can become dangerous in a surprisingly short amount of time. The big question people have is, “What if I leave my window cracked?” 

The simple answer is NEVER leave your pet in a car…period. Cracking the window is not enough to keep it cool. Parking in the shade is not enough to keep it cool. Putting up a sun visor is not enough to keep it cool. If you think you may go somewhere that you have to leave your dog in the car, then you should leave your dog at home. 

Did you know that it is illegal to leave your dog in a hot car in Albuquerque? It is! It is a 4th degree felony which means possible jail time. 

Open Windows Won’t Cool Down Your Car Enough

Opening a window may help break the heat a little bit, but a cracked window does not cool down your car enough to be safe for your dog. According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), cracking a window has very little positive effect on your car and the car will heat up at almost exactly the same rate as a car with the windows rolled up. 

What Counts As A Hot Day?

The inside of a parked car can reach 100 degrees in 20 minutes on a day that is only 70 degrees outside. On a hot day, the temperature inside your car can reach over 140 degrees in less than an hour. 

There is no temperature that is “just right” for leaving your dog in the car. 

Can My Dog Die In The Car?

YES! Yes, your dog can die of heat stroke if left in the car. All dogs are affected, some breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs, are affected faster than others. Dogs with short skulls tend to be highly heat intolerant and overheat much faster than other breeds. 

What to Do If You See A Dog Locked In A Car

It is legal in Albuquerque to break the window of a car if you see a dog locked inside that appears distressed.  If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, call 911 to report it. The police, or animal control, are pretty quick at getting the animal out. If it is taking too long, you are free to try to break their window to let the dog out. You should immediately call the vet and bring them into the nearest Albuquerque veterinary clinic for an emergency evaluation.