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rossfox

Hound in car with AC running

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What does the group think about leaving a grey in the car with the AC running, in order to go into a store for a short time. In the winter I have left him in the car for a little while and he does just fine. I live in the south, and so it never gets very cold, and I only leave him for no more than 20 to 30 minutes. The car never gets cold inside, and he has his bed and blanket in there. So, I know he is very comfortable. But the summer is way different. Leaving the windows down as far as possible and not allowing him to get out, is not an option, as it still gets hot in a car quickly. I have heard pros and cons regarding the car being stolen, and so that is a worry of course. Any suggestions, as I love taking him places and he loves to go.

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That is what the cops with K9 partners do out here in AZ. Should be OK as long as you can lock the car and are not gone long (in case the AC or car quit working)

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I've seen folks who put a sign in the window, just in case, to let folks know that their dog is comfortably cool in the car.

Here's an example, but I've seen a bunch of them floating around the internet.


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I just bought a 2016 Chrysler Town & Country van, mostly for the stow and do seats. Equally as important was that I could leave the running with the AC on and be able to lock the doors. You cannot do that with many new vehicles.

This model van does not have a Start button. It does have a plastic fob that gets inserted into the dash. There is a hidden though removable key for unlocking a door the old way.

And of course, before locking the doors I make sure that I have the second set of keys on me.

I always tape a sign on the window with my cell phone number. And I am only gone long enough to run in a use a restroom. I can only hope no one smashes a window to steal my car.


 

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My car has an option through an app to run the car remotely, so I can lock the car then set the temperature and start the car from my phone. It's handy. I've used it when it's cold and hot- keeps the car at a comfortable temp while we go to dinner/grocery shop or other non-dog friendly activities. The key stays with me, so there's no chance of someone being able to break in and drive away. 

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You can also get portable temperature monitors that you can check from an app on your phone. Some of my dog sport friends and trainer friends who do house calls have monitors for their vehicles because they almost always have to bring their dogs along for the ride. They can check the temperature and then use their remote starter to turn on the vehicle to run the AC while leaving the vehicle locked as necessary.

My truck will run for 15 minutes and shut itself off when I use my remote starter, so I often do that if I need to leave the dogs in the car for short periods of time. 


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Even though we've all had to do it at one time or another when traveling or commuting with a pet, you need to be aware that in most states / cities, you can get a ticket for leaving a vehicle running and unattended.  Laws have not been updated in most places to account for remote start systems or other tech. I've lived in 2 different places where I knew people who got tickets for letting their cars warm up in winter while they waited inside. 


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I was at the chiro and a woman came in said she left her two dogs in the car, would her wait be long.  I told her it gets hot in the car pretty quickly.  She has an option in her car for the AC to go on every 10 minutes for 10 minutes even while the car is off.  The receptionist said she has the same thing in her car for her dogs.  I had never heard of it.


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1 hour ago, Time4ANap said:

Even though we've all had to do it at one time or another when traveling or commuting with a pet, you need to be aware that in most states / cities, you can get a ticket for leaving a vehicle running and unattended.  Laws have not been updated in most places to account for remote start systems or other tech. I've lived in 2 different places where I knew people who got tickets for letting their cars warm up in winter while they waited inside. 

Not sure if that's just a US law, but that would never fly in Canada. Even the cops pre-warm their vehicles in the winter! Almost every vehicle in Edmonton has a remote starter. 


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3 minutes ago, krissy said:

Not sure if that's just a US law, but that would never fly in Canada. Even the cops pre-warm their vehicles in the winter! Almost every vehicle in Edmonton has a remote starter. 

They do it here too, but it's a law that has typically been on the books here for many years so remote starters weren't a thing when they were written. Emergency vehicles like police, fire and ambulance are almost always exempt from laws pertaining to unattended idling now because the computers, drug cabinets, K-9 cages and other equipment require constant power and temperature control to function properly.

 I was the remote starter for my Mom's car in Winter :lol.   I think it goes back to the days when it wasn't uncommon for vehicles to jump into gear when parked and running, especially reverse. I had a car that did that several times because Park would not always engage completely even though it felt like it had and looked like it had on the indicator.  Now there are so many interlocks and safety systems on cars that it doesn't happen as often as it used to, but the law is still on the books in many places here and they will write the ticket for it in certain cases or if they get a complaint.  There were also a number of these ordinances enacted to decrease pollution, so there is a wide variance by state and city.  

I was doing some other searching and found that 28 states here have some form of law that make it illegal to leave pets in a car. Some have conditions where it becomes illegal, and some just make it outright illegal. https://www.animallaw.info/topic/table-state-laws-protect-animals-left-parked-vehicles

Oddly enough, while we add laws to the books constantly, it seems pretty rare to actually have many of them taken off the books when they no longer apply due to changes in technology or because they are obsolete. 


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Thanks for all the replies. I live in Georgia, and so I don't see anything in the chart pertaining to Georgia. So, good info. I will get a window sign made up and put it in the windows. Our areas here are pretty safe, so hopefully there will be no problem with the car being stolen. And of course a 75 lb dog in the car would scare a lot of people off. Of course my hound would just want the burglar to pet him, and give him some ear rubs.

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15 hours ago, rossfox said:

Thanks for all the replies. I live in Georgia, and so I don't see anything in the chart pertaining to Georgia. So, good info. I will get a window sign made up and put it in the windows. Our areas here are pretty safe, so hopefully there will be no problem with the car being stolen. And of course a 75 lb dog in the car would scare a lot of people off. Of course my hound would just want the burglar to pet him, and give him some ear rubs.

We've all been there at some point and would love to see manufacturers offer a solution to safely keep the car running and temperature controlled for instances like this.  At one point a few years ago I even checked into retrofitting my van with a K-9 cooling system like Police K-9 vehicles use but the the retrofit was way too expensive for my older vehicle. The benefit of that system was that it would start blowing the horn and send me a text message if the engine shut off or the temp went above a certain level.  

My best and least expensive option was to install an idle controller that had a hidden button.  It would allow me to leave the vehicle running but remove the key. If anyone jumped in and stepped on the brake to put the vehicle in Drive, the engine would shut off. The hidden button had to be pushed before putting the key back in the ignition.   I never went with that option once we moved to AZ and ended up going for far fewer rides with the dog due to the extreme temps here.  I may explore that type of system for our next vehicle since we would like to do some long roadtrips. 

Edited to add - I finally found that idle controller again online.  It is made primarily for fleet vehicles and does not work on any vehicle with a push button ignition, so is somewhat limited in scope.  For anyone interested - here's the link.  https://www.secure-idle.com/install.html  This link is to the installation instructions which is the only place on their site that show which models and years the units are built for.  if your model and year isn't listed, this unit isn't an option. 

Edited by Time4ANap

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I wouldn't, unless I was on a cross-country move alone or something, just to paranoid. I like the cell-phone idea, if you absolutely need to.


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Just one question - if you're traveling, and need to go into a store en route - I get it.  But if you're at home, and need to go to the store - why would you take the dog?  Am I missing something? 

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I do it, but I searched long and hard for a car that met my other requirements and also allowed me to lock the car from the outside while it's running. I wouldn't do it if I had to leave the car unlocked. Wouldn't worry so much about the car being stolen, but I would worry about the dog being stolen, or "rescued" by someone who assumed your dog was suffering.

We actually did it today. Took the dogs to one of our favorite spots to hike/walk around a lake. Took a nice hour long walk, they smelled all the smells, played in the water a few times, and saw lots of new people and dogs. Then I stopped at the farmers market just down the street and they hung out in the car with the AC on and their lamb stuffed Kong's that I had made beforehand and bowl of water while I shopped for about 20 minutes. We used to do this a lot when I went to the farmers market more frequently. Once, a woman waited at my car so she could accuse me of abusing (her word) my animals. When I told her the AC was on she tried to come up with other reasons that it was abusive, leaving them in the car all alone like that while I shopped. Sorry lady, but I'm pretty confident my dogs prefer a really awesome walk or hike in a novel place followed by a short period of time in the car (plus the time with me in the car) to being at home alone the entire time, especially since one of them has SA. So be forewarned, you may attract some crazies. ;)


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21 hours ago, sobesmom said:

Just one question - if you're traveling, and need to go into a store en route - I get it.  But if you're at home, and need to go to the store - why would you take the dog?  Am I missing something? 

If your dog has SA and can't be alone. 

Many SA dogs do fine for a short time alone in the car, but can't be left alone at home. 

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1 hour ago, Daks said:

If your dog has SA and can't be alone. 

Many SA dogs do fine for a short time alone in the car, but can't be left alone at home. 

Ahh!  Ok.  Thanks for the clarification.  My ignorance. 

To the OP - I hope you didn't think I was being rude  with my question- I truly didn't "get" the situation and wanted to understand.   Now it makes a lot more sense to me.  Hope you get good input and suggestions.  Best of luck - SA is a rough road.  

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The OP didn't say his dog has SA (or that he doesn't). There are a number of reasons someone might want to do it, including the dog likes car rides. It can be done safely. People who participate in dog sports need to contain their dogs in their cars for extended periods of time and they take appropriate precautions to do it safely. No reason others can't do so as well for whatever benefit they feel it provides to their dog.


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I have done this to quick run  in to use the bathroom while traveling with my dogs.  I wouldn't do it if I were shopping though.  My A/C doesn't stay real cool while it is parked.  It gets warmer.  Maybe it is just my car.

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I know many people do this but, I would never do it. I don't trust technology to this degree to keep on operating especially on hot days. When it is very hot, my car has stalled out, rarely, but it does happen. It doesn't take long for a dog to die in a car when the AC shuts off. A few police dogs have died this way (you thing they would know better) in some of the cases, it was from tech failures. RV people have had AC failures and started to use other apps to check the temp levels in their RVs but, that tech can also fail.

 

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We did this the other day when my husband had to run in one store, and I had to run in another store.  He stayed in the car with the dogs, then I stayed in the car with the dogs.  We both noticed that the AC didn't stay as cool after a while if you're not driving. It was still comfortable, but I wouldn't trust that it would stay that way if it was really hot. So we would do this on a day that wasn't sweltering (and have), but certainly not for long.

The reason we took the dogs is because the van has AC, our house doesn't, and we needed some relief! We all drove around and were cool for a while. :lol


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Well, as to why take my hound to the store if I go there. Its because my hound likes to go with me or my wife anytime we go in the car. He enjoys the ride and he wants to be with us. So, we like to take him. We would never leave him more than say 20 minutes, even if it was winter and no chance of the car overheating inside. Some stores like Home Depot and Lowes, now allow dogs to come into their stores. Certainly pet supply stores like Petco, Petsmart welcome dogs. Our hound has no separation anxiety when we leave him. In the car he just lays down and waits for us to come back. Just wanted to hear other's thoughts. 

 

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rossfox,

20 minutes in a car when it is hot outside is too long unless you have the A/C running.

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