Dogs in Hot Cars


What to do if you see a distressed dog trapped in a car on a hot day?

  • Take down the car make, colour and registration number and have the owner paged at the closest building to alert him/her to the animal’s distress.
  • Contact your local SPCA (a list of telephone numbers is available here) or SA Police Services immediately.
  • Don’t leave the scene until the situation is resolved.

Dogs in Hot Cars


Never leave your dog alone in a hot car.

Dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them unattended in a parked car. Parked cars become death traps for dogs. Without proper ventilation, temperatures soon soar in a locked car.

Dogs pant to keep cool and quickly overheat in hot cars when there is no free flow of air. Leaving windows slightly open WILL NOT keep your car cool enough.

Heatstroke can be fatal and develops when dogs are unable to reduce their core body temperature. Symptoms include heavy panting, profuse salivation, rapid pulse, lack of co-ordination, collapse and loss of consciousness.

How hot does it get in a parked car?

The temperatures in this video are quoted in Fahrenheit so do the conversion for equivalent temperatures in South Africa. Divide by 32 to get the temperature in Celsius.

Time is of the essence and can mean the difference between life and death.

It is recommended that the dog undergo a veterinarian evaluation if he/she shows signs of heatstroke. Heatstroke is deadly in dogs!


Updated: 25 January 2016

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