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How to Monitor the Interior Temperature With a Dog in the Car

| Updated September 26, 2017

The simple phrase car ride causes many a dog's tail to wag with excitement, but oftentimes a car ride means that your dog will be waiting in the car while you run errands. Leaving a dog in a car in warm weather is a dangerous practice that can put your dog at risk of heatstroke, and even lead to death. You can monitor the interior temperature of your car by using a remote thermometer or smartphone technology to keep your dog safe.

Remote Thermometers

Remote thermometers with radio transmitters transmit the car's temperature to you via a handheld unit. They work well for monitoring a car's interior temperature as long as the receiver is within the transmitter's range. Remote thermometers are available with transmission ranges of 100 feet. Transmitters also house the temperature sensor, so they should be placed near your dog and away from window frames. Receivers are generally small enough to carry in a purse or pocket so you can make sure your car isn't getting too hot for your dog.


  • For proper functioning and accurate temperature readings, set up the transmitter/sensor and receiver according to the manufacturer's instructions. The two units should be placed 5 feet apart for 15 to 20 minutes before use to allow for syncing.

Smartphone Technology

Smartphone technology has now made it possible to monitor your car's interior temperature anywhere your phone has global system for mobile network coverage. Portable temperature sensor units containing GSM SIM cards will text your cellphone when your car's interior reaches a temperature that you have selected. The text message includes the current temperature, as well as battery strength and signal strength.

Dangerous Temperatures

The Humane Society of Missouri recommends not leaving a dog unattended in a parked car when the outside temperature is more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures climb quickly in parked cars even when the windows are cracked. In just 10 minutes, the temperature can rise almost 20 degrees and in 30 minutes, it rises nearly 35 degrees.


  • Whether your dog is in a warm car or just outside in warm weather, always watch him for heavy panting, restlessness, thick saliva, excessive thirst, lethargy, rapid heartbeat, vomiting and lack of coordination. These are signs of heatstroke. If you notice any of these signs, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.


    • Always keep water and a water bowl in the car for your dog.
    • Always park in the shade.