Veterinarian Sits in a Hot Parked Car for 30 Minutes

As nearly half of America continues to melt in the sweltering heat wave plaguing the Southwest, one vet set out to remind pet owners that you should never leave your pet in a parked car — even with the windows cracked open.

Dr. Ernie Ward locked himself in his car armed with a thermometer to see what it feels like for an animal in the same scary situation. With him, he brought a clock and a video camera and narrated his experience as the time ticked and the mercury level rose.

Within minutes, Dr. Ward comments that the air in the car is stifling hot even though there is a breeze outside. He is already drenched in sweat — an effective body function that dogs do not have to cool down.

The ASPCA warns that even on an 85-degree day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 102 degrees in ten minutes — and that is with the windows cracked. They also warn to not be fooled by shade on a hot day. Even a car parked in the shade becomes a furnace due to the outside ambient temperature, plus the sun moves and a car once in the shade may soon be a car parked directly in the hot sun.

By the end of Dr. Ward’s exercise, the car was a deadly 116 degrees! Watch his video below for the full narration and to get a real sense of what it is like for a pup to be stuck in a parked car on a hot day.

Please share this video with other pet owners and if you want to take another proactive step to protect pets from going through this horrible experience consider sharing the poster below and posting them via social media sites.  You can also make print copies that can be left on community boards, on parked cars, or in a stack at a local pet store.

Also, if you see a dog (or any animal, not to mention young children) inside a parked car on a hot day – or even night – you are more than justified to call the police. In many states and countries it is illegal to leave pets and children alone in parked cars during hot weather. So be proactive and maybe you will save a life.

Hot cars kill dogs. Don't leave your dog in a hot car, even for a minute.

7 Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

Other Resources:
ASPCA Pets in Hot Cars
Red Rover My Dog is Cool
Hot Car, Hot Oven


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Teresa W4 years ago

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Donna Lober
Donna Lober5 years ago

I think this does "somewhat" of a disservice to the animals. As has been mentioned, the vet is not wearing a fur coat, but aside from that he is not under the same stress, as he knows that he can get out at any time he chooses. Also, the dog would probably be jumping around looking for a way out, causing even more exhaustion. I hate to think that people may think that they are given a pass to leave an animal for 30 minutes, because it is unfair to cause that kind of panic to the animal!

Angela J.
Angela J5 years ago

Very true.

Stenpney John
Past Member 5 years ago

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Rosemary H.
Rosemary H5 years ago

I rember a woman telloing me it was OK because she left her dog in the shade with the windows open, but apparently not so.

Otherwise, I can't understand why peoploe don't know you shouldn't do this.