A Hot-Weather Warning for Dogs

Posted by 2 years ago | Permalink | Comments (10)

Life-saving tips for dogs in hot weather this summer Every summer, dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car – even for “just a minute” – while they run an errand.

Parked cars are death traps for dogs in warm weather. Unlike humans, dogs can cool themselves only by panting and sweating through their paw pads, and they can die if their body temperature exceeds 41 degrees. They can develop a loss of muscle control, their kidneys can cease to function, their brain can become irreversibly damaged and their heart can stop. This is a terrifying and painful way to die.

On a 26-degree day, the inside of a vehicle parked in the sun can reach 70 degrees in just minutes. Cars parked in the shade aren’t safe for dogs, either, and can quickly become unbearably warm for dogs left inside.

We’re asking for your help this summer in raising awareness of this danger by printing out our hot-weather warning poster and putting it up in your local area – for example, in libraries, in supermarkets and on community notice boards (with permission, of course!).

Download the poster here, and feel free to tweet us a picture of the posters on display.

Here are some more tips for keeping your canine companions safe this summer:

  • Keep animals inside. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress and be physically damaging or fatal.
  • Provide water and shade. If animals must be left outside, they should be given ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Walk, don’t run. Never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog when the weather is hot and humid. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
  • Stay alert and save a life. If you see an animal in distress, immediately provide water and shelter and contact authorities right away.

These tips may seem like common sense to most people, but every year, we hear tragic stories of dogs whose guardians didn’t take these basic precautions, with fatal consequences.

So please, share this information widely – it could save a life!


Photo: “Sunday Walk” by Martin Pettitt / CC BY 2.0


  • JOAN commented on July 22, 2014 at 10:21 am


  • Linda McGill commented on July 22, 2014 at 11:09 am

    So unfair. Animals trapped in hot cars, this needs to stop.

  • Guilherme Albino commented on July 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Should provide this warning in several languages! 😉

  • Angie walker commented on July 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I never know who to contact when I see a dog in a car with no Windows down etc….is it the dog warden, who never answers their fones, or is it 999, please can anybody awnser this for me !!!

    • Anne commented on July 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Angie, if the dog is in distress please call 999 and tell the police that it is an emergency!

  • Tracey commented on July 27, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Yes, I second that – call 999. In fact I emailed the police and RSPCA just to make sure! I had an incident this week where I confronted an owner who had left his dog locked in the car while he went into a cafe for lunch. He refused to listen to me so I called the RSPCA but it took 20 minutes to get through! In the meantime the dog was whimpering and panting heavily. Eventually I got through to be told that the RSPCA doesn’t have an emergency service and I should have called 999.

  • John T. Burridge commented on August 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Rhode Island now has a new law that prohibits leaving unattended animals in a car even “for a minute”.

  • William Howard commented on August 8, 2014 at 12:58 am

    PLEASE,please always help people know to NEVER leave an animal of any kind in a hot car!!!!

  • Jan commented on June 30, 2015 at 10:52 am

    I would urge anyone to act immediately if they see an animal in a car in the heat. Even with windows open an inch or two, it is still sufficiently hot in a car for a dog to become distressed and die. I carry was small hammer in the boot of my car. If I witness an inappropriate and dangerous scenario where the animal is at risk, I will smash the car window, provide water and remove the animal if necessary. Obviously I would record the event as evidence that I didn’t over react or simply act irresponsibly. I would also alert the police. If the law doesn’t support me then so be it. At least the animal lives.

  • tina partridge commented on June 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    If the dog is unresponsive then break the window and cool the dog down with wet towels and then call 999every secound counts

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