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Hot dogs in cars

Don't put your best friend at risk

The UK may be a nation of dog lovers, but it seems we are still putting man's best friend at risk. A survey by the Dogs Trust reveals that over 66% of people have seen a dog locked in a car on a sunny day, yet over a third of them did nothing about it.

With temperatures easily reaching over 40 degrees in some parked vehicles, dogs could die within minutes so the Dogs Trust joined forces with the AA to target motorists and visitors with their Hot Cars Can Kill Dogs awareness campaign.

The survey also reveals that 15% of those questioned called the police when they saw a dog locked in the car, 49% tried to alert the driver and 4% actually broke into the car to rescue the dog.

Over the last year AA patrols have rescued 1,000 pets locked in cars and in recent years there have been several high profile cases of canine fatalities.

Advice to motorists
  • Never leave your dog alone in the car - even if it seems cool outside it can become very hot very quickly. Parking in the shade and/or keeping the windows down does not make it safe!
  • Make sure you keep your dog as cool as possible when driving: avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds on the windows and consider opening a window a little to allow a cooling breeze to circulate in the vehicle
  • Make sure you have a supply of water and know where you can stop off on route for water breaks. Dogs are not able to cool down as effectively as humans so could suffer from heat stroke and dehydration very quickly

If you see a distressed dog in a vehicle please call 999, or either the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.

Download a copy of the Hot Cars Can Kill Dogs campaign leaflet (PDF).



Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, comments:

"It is shocking to see that so many people consider leaving their dog in the car, whatever the weather. You wouldn't leave your child in the car. Given how quickly the temperature can rise, it is equally unfathomable that you would leave your pet.

"We are delighted to be working with the AA to use the combined force of our members to spread the word and prevent any further dog deaths this summer.

"35% of people who have seen a dog locked in a car have decided to do nothing, but our advice is, if you see it, report it!"

For more advice about travelling with your dog visit the Dogs Trust or call them on 020 7837 0006.

(Page updated 10 June 2013)