Public Warning – Dogs Die in Hot Cars

Dogs can die if left in a car during summer conditions. The USPCA are urging pet owners to NEVER leave your dog inside a car during this hot weather, even if only for a few minutes. In these warm conditions the temperature inside a car can climb rapidly and will be much higher than outside the car. 

Dogs left alone in a car on a hot day can quickly become dehydrated, develop heat stroke and even die.  Dogs develop heat stroke quicker than other animals, because they lack sweat glands that allow the skin and body to cool itself. Instead, dogs sweat through panting, a process that brings small amounts of air into lungs to aid it cooling in it’s body.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, owners have a legal duty to care for their pets.  If you see an animal in a car during warm conditions, your first point of contact is your local council. 

The PSNI stated ‘understandably many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free a dog trapped in a hot car. However,  if you do this, you should be aware that without proper justification a complaint of criminal damage could be made against you and you may have to answer for your actions in court. In such circumstances ensure you have video and/or picture evidence, plus details of witnesses if possible’

If you are concerned for the wellbeing of an animal confined in a car on a warm day your first port of call is the Animal Welfare Department at your local council, their details are found on They can liaise with the PSNI to identify the owner and have the animal released from jeopardy. 

Remember as pet owners it is your responsibility for the safety of your dog. Keeping dogs and all animals safe is so important to us at the USPCA. We hope this information helps keep your dog safe this summer and for many summers to come. 

Share this with your friends and family to spread the word.