The Dangers of Leaving Your Dog in a Cold Car
December 12, 2023

As pet parents, we know we shouldn’t leave our pups in hot cars. But as the colder months approach, are cold vehicles safer? Read below to learn the dangers of leaving your dog in a cold car.


Just like how a car can act as a greenhouse in the summer, they become rolling refrigerators in the winter. This is because they have little to no insulation against the outdoor conditions. So, while your dog may be sheltered from the elements, they are not protected against the temperatures. This means that if they are left alone for too long, they can develop hypothermia, which is when their body temperature drops too low. If left untreated, hypothermia can result in brain damage, coma, cardiac and respiratory failure, and possibly death. Additionally, frostbite can develop at extremely low temperatures.

Lack of Ventilation

A lack of ventilation can result in a lack of fresh air and poor air quality for your dog. This lack of ventilation can cause discomfort for your canine. Additionally, it can lead to respiratory issues.


Dehydration can occur in hot weather as well as cold. This is especially true if they are left in a car without access to water. Additionally, dogs may not feel as thirsty in colder weather. So, they must always have access to clean, fresh water.

Other Hazards

Leaving your pup in the car can come with other hazards. This can include getting caught in seat belts or chewing on electrical wiring. So, remember not to leave your companion alone in the car! Take them with you or leave them comfortably at home.


Aside from the health and safety risks, many states have laws against leaving your dog in the car under animal cruelty laws. Additionally, some statutes protect anyone who breaks into your car to rescue an endangered dog. So, you could face criminal charges and car repair costs if you leave your pup unattended in a parked car.

Review the dangers above to remind yourself not to leave your canine companion alone in a cold car!

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