The UK's largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, is
warning dog lovers of the dangers of leaving their pets in cars as
the country prepares for a potential heatwave due to hit later this
week, and has issued a set of simple tips to keep dogs safe in the
The Met Office has declared a Level 2 Heat-health alert, and has
forecast potential heatwave conditions for parts of the South East,
London, the East of England, the East Midlands and West Midlands
later this week.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Every year the
Kennel Club hears of dogs being literally cooked to death inside
hot cars, and the chance of this happening increases dramatically
during a heatwave.
"In common with many animals, dogs are extremely sensitive to
heat, more so than humans, and even on a mildly warm day they can
quickly overheat, even with the car windows open and water
available, as temperatures can rapidly heat up to around 50 degrees
Celsius. This is accelerated significantly on scorching hot
"Tips on how to keep your dog safe during hot weather can be found
on the Kennel Club website and we'd recommend owners are more
vigilant than they might usually be until the heatwave is
over. Next week, from 21st - 27th July, is Be Dog Friendly
Week, for which the Kennel Club is encouraging public places to
trial a dog friendly policy, to avoid people having to leave dogs
in cars or tied up outside if they pop out with their dog on a
sunny day and find they cannot take them into the post office or
bank for example.
"Dogs dying in hot cars is completely avoidable and it is just not
worth the risk to leave a dog in a car, for any amount of
The Kennel Club has issued the following advice to keep dogs safe
during the heatwave:
- Always provide access to fresh, cool water and shade,
preferably in a well-ventilated area.
- Don't expose your dogs to unnecessary heat - consider walking
them early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the
hottest parts of the day and take cool water with you on your walk.
Also be aware that high humidity can equally cause risk to a dog's
- Plan your days carefully and never leave a dog unattended in a
car or tied up outside. Search for dog friendly places that
are part of the Kennel Club's Be Dog Friendly campaign and will
allow dogs inside at www.dogfriendly.co.uk.
- Never let your dog take part in unnecessary exertion in hot or
humid weather, or stand in exposed sunlight for extended lengths of
- Be aware of the signs of overheating in dogs, which include
panting, disorientation, excessive thirst, dark gums, vomiting,
diarrhoea and losing consciousness.
- Never pass by a dog if you see one suffering in a car. Whether
it be in a supermarket car park or at the pub, make sure you let
someone in authority know and if in doubt call the police on 101 or
the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
What to do if your dog overheats:
- Contact the vet immediately.
- Move the dog out of the heat.
- Offer the dog cool, rather than cold, water for small drinks if
the dog is still conscious.
- If possible, fan the dog with cool air.
- Wrap in cool, damp towels or spray with cool, not cold,
water. Pay particular attention to the head.
- Cool the dog's tongue by dabbing with a cold, damp cloth.
To view the Kennel Club's 'Don't cook your dog' video, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/dontcookyourdog
or search 'Don't cook your dog' on Youtube.