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Dogs in Cars

Don't Cook Your Dog!
Even without the usual high summer temperatures, the Kennel Club is warning people that they risk literally cooking their dogs alive if they leave them unattended in a car.  Dogs are extremely sensitive to heat and should never be left in a car alone, even on a fairly warm or cloudy day.  Surprisingly, even leaving a car window open or supplying water makes little difference and the dog will suffer, as a car can quickly heat up to around 50°C.

Each year the Kennel Club receives reports of dogs being left in cars, and many incidents where dogs die from heatstroke as a result. They are calling for urgent action to prevent irresponsible dog ownership this summer. To promote the seriousness of the issue the Kennel Club has produced a three minute YouTube video called "Don't Cook your Dog" (see below), describing how easily dogs can suffer from brain damage, organ failure and death, if left in a hot car.

The Kennel Club has issued the following advice regarding travelling with your dog during warm weather.


  • consider the weather and your journey in advance, especially if you don't have air conditioning in your car.  Is the journey absolutely necessary for your dog?
  • plan your journey and check out the Kennel Club's Open for Dogs site and use the Dog Friendly app to find places that will allow dogs in with you.
  • make sure your dog has plenty of space in the car and isn't squashed or forced to sit in direct sunlight.
  • make sure there is shade provided:  even in an air conditioned car a dog can become too hot if in full sun.
  • make sure plenty of stops are taken with lots of water available to drink.
  • take cold water in a thermos rather than a plastic bottle so it stays cold rather than being lukewarm.  Ice cubes are helpful in a thermos for cooling too.


  • leave a dog unattended in a car, even with the window open and water available.  Take them out of the car and leave them in a secure, cool place with access to shade and water or take them with you, there are plenty of places that are part of the Kennel Club's Open for Dogs scheme and will allow dogs in.
  • let your dog take part in unnecessary exertion in hot weather, or stand in exposed sunlight for extended lengths of time.
  • pass by a dog if you see one suffering in a car.  Whether it be in a supermarket car park or at a show, make sure you let someone in authority know and if in doubt call the police or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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