Here’s Exactly What Happens To The Body Of A Dog Left In A Hot Car

You head out to run some errands on a beautiful, sunny, 85 degree day and you decide to take your best friend with you…after all, he loves to ride in the car with his head out the window!

You stop at the store just to run in for a second, and leave Fido in the car with the windows “cracked.” You’re just going to grab a couple of things, so it should all be fine. However, the lines in the store are long, you found a few extra things you needed, and you ran into your neighbor and chatted for a few. He should still be okay, though… he’s only been out there for about 20-30 minutes. Right?


On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise to approximately 119 degrees in 30 minutes. This is similar to the dead of summer in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. However, instead of wearing a breathable cotton thobe like the men wear there, your dog has on a thick fur coat.

Unlike humans, dogs are unable to sweat. They rely mainly on their respiratory tract to dissipate heat. Dogs with more nasal surface area (think Greyhounds, German Shepherds and Labs) are more efficient at dispelling heat, while “smush faced” breeds (like Pugs, Bulldogs or Shih Tzus) are more prone to overheating due to shorter nasal passages.