The dangers of leaving pets and children in hot cars

dogs in car

Dangers of leaving pets and children in cars 

Several incidents recently have highlighted the danger of leaving children and pets in cars during the warmer months


Since June there have been more and more news articles highlighting the dangers of leaving children and pets in hot cars during the summer months and emphasising the importance of child safety and pet safety. We hear of stories about children dying of heat stroke or hyperthermia in the US after being left in hot cars for hours while their parents go to work, visit shops or simply forget that their child was in the car with them. There are also more news stories of this happening in the UK and only recently did we hear about police officers having to rescue a dog that was left in a hot car at Finsbury Park in London on the warmest day of the year so far, where temperatures hit 32°c. These occurrences are becoming more and more common as we enter summer and supposedly a mini heatwave.


It’s important to note that the temperature of a closed car can far exceed the outside temperature and small children and pets are especially susceptible to the effects of extreme heat. Dogs that are particularly susceptible to hot weather include but are not limited to: Long-haired breeds, young or older dogs and dogs with certain medical conditions (the full list of dogs that particularly suffer due to hot weather can be found here:


The temperature in a car can rise rapidly regardless of whether a window is left open or the car is parked in the shade.  Left in a hot car, children and pets can suffer from dehydration, heatstroke, hyperthermia, and in some cases, death. For a small child, heatstroke can occur within minutes of being left in a hot stationary car and animals may experience the same.


So please remember to take small children and pets with you even if it’s just a quick visit to the shops. This warning also extends to the elderly who are also at an increased risk of suffering the effects of extreme heat in the car. Please keep in mind child safety and pet safety in this warm weather. 

So if you’ve ever asked yourself "Can I leave my dog in the car?" - the answer is no.

Images by leeno and Lindy.

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