RSPCA - Dogs Die in Hot Cars!

Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.

A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach 47 degrees within the hour.

What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day. In an emergency, we may not be able to attend quickly enough, and with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident. Don’t be afraid to dial 999, the police will inform us if animal welfare assistance is required.

Help a dog in a hot car

  • Establish the animal's health and condition. If they're displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 immediately.
  • If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away or unable to attend, many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog. If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court.
  • Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do and why. Take pictures or videos of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident.

Emergency First Aid for dogs

  • For the best chance of survival, dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature lowered gradually.
  • Move him/her to a shaded/cool area. 
  • Immediately douse the dog with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock. If possible, you can also use wet towels or place him/her in the breeze of a fan. 
  • Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water. 
  • Continue to douse the dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle but never so much that he/she begins to shiver.

Once the dog is cool, take him/her to the nearest vet as a matter of urgency.

For more information visit: www.rspca.org.uk

Victoria Lee