Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Dogs in Summer

This summer is usually hot and sunny weather. Summer weather can be changeable and even on cloudy days the heat from the sun is strong. It only takes a short time for a dog to suffer the effects of being left in a car or in any place where a cool spot is not provided. 

Most people are aware of the effects of summer heat in a car where extreme temperatures are quickly reached. Even if a dog has been left in a car with its windows open or has been left in the shade it is still not safe!  Dogs pant to keep cool. In hot stuffy cars dogs can’t cool down - leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens won’t keep your car cool enough. The same can apply to a conservatory or other rooms and the garden. 

 Under 20 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog should its body temperature exceed 41°C. When it’s 22°C/72°F outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes. At 26°c outside it can reach 37°c in just 10 mins! Dogs overheat quickly which means they could be at serious risk in only a short time.

If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call the Police on 999. If the police are unable to attend, please call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty line 0300 1234 999.

 Symptoms of Heatstroke

 If a dog is showing any of these symptoms it may be that they are suffering from heat stroke, dehydration or even sun burn.  

  • Excessive panting
  • Red gums and tongue
  • Heavy salivation
  • Vomiting / diarrhoea
  • Lack of co-ordination
  • Loss of consciousness


Some dogs are more likely to be affected by heat than others. 

  • dogs with short snouts
  • fatter/muscley dogs
  • long-haired breeds
  • old/young dogs
  • dogs with certain diseases/on certain medication


More advice on this subject, including actions to take,  can be found on the RSPCA site here

 DON’T LEAVE DOGS IN CARS – dogs die in hot cars!