Keeping your dog safe in a car during hot weather

With the weather getting warmer, how is it we can keep our dogs safe in the car when taking them out?

Dogs overheating in the car is perhaps, the most commonly known issue we know about. Simply put, dogs die in hot cars! So here are a few tips and tricks to help you keep you dog comfortable when in the car in hot weather:


  • Travel in the early morning or late evening – it is cooler at these times of the day
  • Bring a drink – We get thirsty, it is the same for our dogs, so bring plenty for them to drink and stay hydrated. See our range of options for travel bottles and bowls
  • Check the temperature inside the car – Periodically, check how warm it is in the rear of the car, air con tends to work better for the driver and front passenger
  • Use a cooling aid – something like a cooling mat will help keep your dog cooler and comfortable. See our range of options
  • Make regular breaks – Stopping to allow your dog to get out of the car, even for a few minutes, will give you a chance to check on your dog and maintain your dogs comfort
  • Cars get hotter when parked – When you park and leave the car, you do not have active cooling meaning the car gets much hotter. You should never leave your dog alone in the car:
    • Use sun shades or towels to stop direct sunlight entering the car
    • Leave the window open to allow airflow
    • Park in shade

What if you see a dog in a hot car?

We hope you never see a dog in a hot car but if you do, how do you know if the dog is in distress and too hot? One way is to keep an eye out for signs of heatstroke:


  • Is the dog panting heavily?
  • Is the dog drooling excessively?
  • Is the dog appearing drowsy or uncoordinated?
  • Has the dog collapsed?
  • Has the dog been vomiting?

Simply put, if you see any of these signs, you must call 999 immediately to ask for Police assistance. Do not be afraid to ask for Police help, speed is of the highest importance when a dog is trapped inside a hot car and it is the Police who have power of entry to the vehicle to save the dog. They know what to do in these situations. Calling 999 is THE FIRST thing you should do, they will help you with other options.

If you do not see any signs of heatstroke, you have a range of options:

  • Keep an eye on the dog to monitor for signs of heatstroke, phone 999 if the dog shows signs of heatstroke
  • Try and search for the owner of the vehicle
  • Phone the RSPCA emergency line for further advice