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Thread: Leaving your dog in the car

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Flagstaff Hill, SA
    Posts
    63

    Default Leaving your dog in the car

    Hi All,

    I was just wondering if there were any rules or regulations relating to leaving your dog in the car?

    The reason I ask is that I like to take my dog out with me wherever I can or after taking him to the dog park I might decide to go to the shops nearby to get a few things and you can’t always bring your dog along with you into the shops.

    Obviously I would be sensible about it take the below into consideration:

    Time: no longer than 15-20mins
    Temperature: wouldn’t leave him in the car if it was warmer than 20 degrees
    Ventilation: Make sure all the windows are slightly wound down
    Shade: would also make sure car was parked under cover in shade
    Water – make sure there was a supply of water in the car
    food - leave him with a treat to chew on while im gone

    I have never left my dog in the car before, but just wanted to know if it was acceptable or not. Obviously, I would try avoid it at all costs, but there are bound to be times when you might consider leaving your dog in the car, so I just want to make sure, if I do, it’s safe for him.

    Regards,
    Robbie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    945

    Default

    I leave my dogs quite often in the car. They are used to it and usually just have a nap while I'm gone. I obviously wouldn't leave them in the summer when its hot but now in the cooler months I often go shopping after taking them for a walk. I just leave them the windows open and if possible I park them where they have a bit of entertainment (like yesterday next to a ute with some sheep in the back). When I come back the drivers seat is usually occupied by a small white dog and soaking wet if she went for a swim beforehand *sigh*

    I don't think there is anything wrong with it if it's not too hot. I'm conscious about how quickly a car can heat up in the sun and take care they don't overheat. But otherwise I think they probably prefer sitting in the car than alone at home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,290

    Default

    I think it's fine too, but it depends on the dog. My old dog didn't seem to mind staying in the car for an hour or so. In fact, she seemed to feel safer there than in lots of places, so if we were visiting a friend or camping and a thunderstorm started, that's where I'd put her to make her feel calmer and prevent her from bolting.

    Banjo is ok, but for some reason, I wouldn't leave her for as long as I might have left my old dog. And she does the same to me Margoo! She'll sit there dripping all over my seat when I get back. Fortunately I have a cushion on my seat, so I can just turn it over when it's wet.

    I wouldn't leave our foster pups in the car for longer than 5 minutes. They'd whine. And then I've known dogs who seemed perfectly happy snoozing in the car for several hours.

    I did once leave the window all the way down for Banjo, (not because it was hot, but because it would be more entertaining) and left her with her car harness on so she couldn't jump out. When I came back, she had chewed through the harness seatbelt attachment, but was still sitting in exactly the same spot! Needless to say that the windows are now always wound down just enough to let some air in and we don't use the harness for that anymore.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    158

    Default

    As long as the weather is cool, then I have no trouble laving Serena in the car for short periods of time. I usually have three kids in tow so its also easier on me if she is in the car whilst I drag out the rug rats for an hour of shopping chaos. To be honest, I would prefer to know she is safe in my car than at the mercy of every kid and well meaning parent that feels it is their duty to pat her. She is timid and is uncomfortable around strange kids and is only just now getting used to mine so I don't want to put her in an uncomfortable situation. Plus, I hear of Staffs being stolen all the time. Serena generally curls up and goes to sleep on the floor passenger side. On hot days , I leave her at home in the air con if I have a few errands to attend to.

    Adrian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Flagstaff Hill, SA
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Thanks guys!

    Lets say the weather was cool, car was parked in the shade, windows open, fresh water and food....and i left my dog in the car, could someone actual put in a complaint AND could there be any penalties or fines?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Bendigo Area
    Posts
    36

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    I have always left my dogs in the car. My old boy Eddie would live in the car if we let him, quite often we wouldn't be able to find him but if a car door was left open - he would help himself and curl up to sleep away the day

    My old girl Maggie use to chew through the harnass attachment as well, or the lead - her's or Eddie's, I really couldn't tie her up anywhere

    Our 2 newies are left in the car for short trips to the shops, again, like everyone has said, windows down somewhat and in the shade, and short periods of time. They cope and I think they enjoy the different scenery.

  7. #7

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    I agree with Margoo in that my dog much prefers sitting in the car over being left at home, but then also with Beloz that it really depends on the dog. I have gone into Bondi Junction to have breakfast (so Sammy is probably in the car for an hour) but it's undercover, I leave all 4 windows down a bit and he has blankets on the back seat that he sleeps on. He hates being left at home whereas he seems to love car trips and when we park in the car park, he's already curling up to go to sleep.

    In regards to laws and regulations, your dog must be restrained at all dogs and being in a car counts as restraint. The dog must have access to water if it's going to be there for longer than a couple of hours (with dogs I always just assume he needs to drink as much as I do) but I mean we've got water bottles and special foldable dog water bowls that I will use if we're going on long drives so I treat leaving him in the car the same way.

    So long as it's not for too long (longer than what a human could sit comfortably in a car and have a nap) and it's not hotter than what you'd cope with and they have fresh air, well I don't really see why it would be wrong.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robbiepapenfus View Post
    Thanks guys!

    Lets say the weather was cool, car was parked in the shade, windows open, fresh water and food....and i left my dog in the car, could someone actual put in a complaint AND could there be any penalties or fines?
    Regardless of what you do some people will always complain, but there is nothing legally wrong with what you're doing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

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    If someone thought your dog was in distress - they could phone the police and if they are really concerned they might try to break into your car or use the dog in the car as an excuse to break in.

    Given you can't take your dog (unlike your children) into most shops - you have to leave it somewhere safe and a locked car is better than tied up to a post outside the shop.

    I leave the front windows down a bit - but not the ones at the back where the dog is - because people do dumb things like throw food in or put their fingers in. Mostly my dog lies down and sleeps when I'm not with her so very few people notice she's in there. Including a policeman who pulled me over to give me a warning about my driving :S. Anyway he never noticed a dog on the back seat. She never moved. Unlike my previous doggy travelling companion who used to try to eat any pedestrian including policemen outside the car.

    I like to park in the undercover car parks if I'm going shopping with her. Shade under trees has a tendency to move. I sometimes leave water with her but she never drinks it. If the sun was on the car you'd have to leave some fans on in the car pointed at the dog to be sure she'd be ok.

    Some dogs are more comfortable with being left in the car than others. I know some that bark continuously at everything and draw a lot of unwanted attention to themselves and others who tear the seats to pieces when left alone in the car for a while.

    The first time I left my dog in the car she barked continuously but she got over it - because - I treated it like crate and door training - ie no come back to car while she's barking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,634

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    I remember once I stopped off at a shopping centre. I walked past a beautifully polished car with an immaculate interior covered from top to bottom in some type of white faux fur with top of the line plush seat covers. Not my scene but clearly someones pride and joy. Anyway in the front seat was young pup of staffy/heeler type that was systematically ripping the interior to bits. There was fur hanging from its mouth and shreds of faux fur and seat covers everywhere. OMG

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