Hot Dogs | Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust

Hot Dogs

Hot Dogs

It only takes a few minutes for a dog to suffer the effects of being left in a hot car. Even if a window has been left open or you are parked in the shade, it’s still not safe for your dog!

How to keep your dog happy and healthy when on car journeys:

  • Think twice about any car trips with your dog - avoid congested roads or busy times of day when they could overheat in the car if you are caught up in traffic
  • If driving with your dog, plan your journey considering cooler times of the day and places to take breaks
  • Keep windows open when driving with a dog in your car whilst ensuring they are safely restrained using a car harness, a travel crate or dog-guard.
  • Make sure you have a supply of fresh water or know where you can stop off for water breaks.

If a dog is showing any of the following symptoms it may be that they are suffering from heat stroke, dehydration or even sun burn:

Excessive panting

Red gums and tongue

Heavy salivation

Vomiting / diarrhoea

Lack of co-ordination

Loss of consciousness


First Aid Tips:

If a dog is suffering any of the above symptoms take the following steps:

Take out of the sun immediately

Cover with a cool wet towel

Get the dog to drink small amounts of cool water

Seek veterinary advice immediately


  Who to contact/what to do if you see a dog locked in a car:

  • Try to find the owner of the car and the dog.
  • If you are unable to locate the owner and you are concerned for the welfare of the animal, call 999 immediately
  • You should not take any action to gain access to the car without first speaking to the police. Without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage. Tell the police of your intentions and take photos or footage of the dog as well as names and numbers of witnesses. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.
  • If the dog isn’t displaying signs of heatstroke, establish how long the dog has been in the car and make a note of the registration. Ask a member of staff to make an announcement of the situation over the tannoy, if possible, and get someone to stay with the dog to monitor its condition.


How can you help?

  • Please share our video with the hashtag #HotDogs
  • We have downloadable 'Tips to keep your Dog Cool' posters available for you to help us distribute and spread the word. 
  • You can order FREE of charge up to 5 ‘Hot Cars Kill Dogs’ window stickers for you to display by emailing your name and postal address to [email protected]