ITHACA, N.Y. — With summer heat already here, it’s a good time for a reminder of how fast temperatures rise in cars, quickly creating dangerous situation for pets or kids left in the car.

The Ithaca Police Department is reminding the community just how fast temperatures can rise in the car, creating a dangerous situation for a dog. And cracking the windows often makes little or no difference, the IPD said in a news release.

In just a quick, 10-minute trip in the store, the temperature can rise 20 degrees in the car. On a 70-degree day, it may seem OK to leave your pet in the car for a few minutes. But in 10 minutes, the temperature can get up to 89 degrees and after 30 minutes, get to 104 degrees.

“Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you,” the IPD said in a news release. “And just to debunk the myth: cracking the windows makes little to no difference.”

Here’s a look at how fast temperatures can rise.

Image Provided.

A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics tested how fast temperatures rise and what difference a cracked window really makes. The study found vehicles heat up rapidly, with the majority of the temperature rise occurring in the first 15 to 30 minutes. It also found that leaving windows open slightly did not make much of a difference.

Specifically, it found that the average temperature rise of 3.4 degrees per five minutes in an enclosed car was only decreased to 3.1 degrees per five minutes by cracking the windows, which in this study meant leaving the window open 1.5 inches.

To keep the police dogs cool, the Ithaca Police Department has specially equipped vehicles to ensure the dogs are safe. There are three sensors that monitor the temperature inside, Officer Pat Kimmich explained at the recent Citizens Police Academy.

Featured image by Eric Sonstroem/Flickr.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.