Don’t Cook Your Dog During Heatwave Warns Kennel Club

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 heat.

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 days.

"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 time."

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 health.
  • 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
  • Never let your dog take part in unnecessary exertion in hot or humid weather, or stand in exposed sunlight for extended lengths of time.
  • 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 or search 'Don't cook your dog' on Youtube.

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