Veterinarian Traps Himself in a Hot Car and Feels the Heat

The results will make you think twice about bringing your dog on nonessential travel.

It goes without saying that pets should never be left inside of a hot car. A common misconception is that simply cracking the window will make a world of difference to the environment inside of a car. As you’ll see below, it really doesn’t matter at all.

In June of 2012, Dr. Ernie Ward wanted to know first hand what it felt like for pets trapped in hot cars. To do so, he spent 30 minutes on a hot day in his car with the windows cracked one inch. To spread awareness, he filmed his experience and posted it on YouTube. 

NOTE: This experiment is actually quite dangerous and you should absolutely not try this yourself.


Shockingly, the temperature inside the car reached 117 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 30 minutes. Bear in mind, he starts the experiment with the car having been parked in an unshaded spot for an unknown amount of time. We don't know how hot the car was to begin with, a bit of an experiment flaw, but regardless, it is remarkable how quickly the temperature rises. The physical stress it causes is palpable and almost makes the video difficult to watch. Dr. Ward comments on how frustrating it is to see the trees blowing in the breeze outside of the window, but he cannot feel the slightest cooling wind.

"I can't imagine how helpless and frightening it would be for a dog to be left in the car, not knowing when you are going to come, and slowly but surely having the energy and life, just burnt out of them by this heat, " says Dr. Ward.

This video was posted 2 years ago, but its message still rings true: There is no good way to leave an animal in a hot car. The best thing you can do for your dog is to leave the engine running with the air conditioning on, as well as a bowl with plenty of water. If these conditions are not possible, then leaving your dog at home is the safest option.

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