CAW Blog

The College of Animal Welfare

dogs die in hot cars
dogs die in hot cars

With the weather getting hotter this week remember ‘dogs die in hot cars’


Dogs die in hot cars… Temperatures this week are predicted to reach as high as 24°C! While this is a nice change from the seemingly everlasting winter, there are some precautions you should take if travelling with a dog.

Leaving your dog in a hot car can be fatal. Although the outside temperature may seem bearable, temperatures inside a car can reach double that of the outside within only an hour. And it’s not just cars you need to watch out for, leaving your dog in enclosed spaces such as conservatories or caravans can have the same deadly affect.

But how common are these incidents?

  • The RSPCA receive almost two calls every hour in relation to dogs suffering from heat exposure over the summer months. The most common incidents involving cars.
  • According to BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey last year, almost half of UK vets had treated animals affected by heat-related conditions over the summer of 2016.

What to do if you see a dog in a hot car

  • Try to find out how long the dog has been in the car (check time on parking ticket)
  • If it’s evident that the dog has been in the car a while and is displaying signs of heatstroke (panting, drooling, appears drowsy, has collapsed or vomited) call 999 immediately.
  • In instances where the dog’s life may be at risk and the police are a long way away, many people may choose to break into the car to free the dog. If you make this choice, ensure you tell the police this is what you’re going to do and why, provide them with a photo of the dog and the names and numbers of any witnesses.

If you think that your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, you should quickly move them to a cooler space, pour small amounts of room-temperature water over them and allow them to drink small amounts of cool water. Once your dog has cooled down, take them to the nearest vet for treatment.

For more information on the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car, visit the BVA website.

Leave a Reply