Leaving Your Dog in a Car in Hot Weather is Dangerous – But What if You Get Stuck in Traffic?


Me driving the car on (another) a hot day

This time of year there’s always headlines warning about the dangers of leaving doggies in the car, and still there’s always a couple of really stoopid humans who think their dog will be okay for a few minutes while they pop in to the shops – and their poor dogs are roasting away in the car. The fact is us dogs can’t handle the heat very well, and we need some help to keep cool.

Keeping cool at the seaside

Some of my doggie friends best tips for keeping cool

My friends the Entlebuchers Megan & Basil have some really pawsome cooling doggie coats that their humans soak in water to help help keep them cool during the day, and their humans bring along water on their walks too. My lil sister Bella has her own paddle pool in the garden, and I just love going swimming in the Thames on my walks and I keep to the shady side of the road on my way home. My buddy Archie loves the doggie ice cream he sells in his shop, and he’s decided that he wants very little exercise no that its so hot outside.

As you can see we’ve all got our own tips and tricks for keeping cool in summer – but there’s one thing we have in common and that’s the fact that our humans would never, ever intentionally leave us in the car in hot weather.

come on Bella - you just keep your paws like this, and paddle with your hind legs

Have you really prepared for travelling in hot weather?

But sometimes things don’t go exactly according to plan. What if you get caught in really bad traffic when your dog is with you in the car? What if there’s an accident on the road and you have to stop your car & switch the air con off? Its not a good situation, but that’s exactly what happened to me and Bella and our humans last week.

We were traveling along the M25 (for our overseas readers - that’s a biiiiig motorway ) when all of a sudden we had to stop the car because of an accident that had happened far away. The traffic wasn’t moving at all and all the humans started stepping outside their cars, walking around, chatting, and making jokes about the situation.

Rooo this is such a pawsome pool

Stuck in a really, really hot car

It was around midday and the temperature was slowly rising. No shade in sight and although our humans opened all the windows in the car Bella and I started to get really, really long tongues. The humans checked the temperature of the tarmac – way too hot for doggie paws so getting us outside was not an option.

Our humans walked around and opened the boot to check our water bowl, and as soon as people around us saw Bella and me sitting there they sprung into action and started offering us more water. One man even ran up to our car and poured our bowl full even though we already had plenty! The drinking water alone wasn’t enough to keep us cool though but luckily for us, Bella’s human had prepared lots of bottles with frozen water for us that they took out and started rubbing into our coats. I dipped my paws in some of the icy water too and it was pawsome.

Then they took out our soft bed from the boot (it was really, really hot and fluffy) and sprinkled some water on a blanket for us to lie on instead. We felt a lot better after our ice bath, but the sun was still shining and slowly heating up our car, roasting us like hot dogs on a  BBQ. If only we could find some shade! Then humans still had their worried faces on and came up with another great idea. They put a blanket across the rear window of the car, making a snug, shaded little nest for us doggies in the boot.

We snoozed like that in the car for about an hour or so before the traffic started to move again and the air con could come back on. By then Bella and I had decided that what we really, really wanted to do more than anything else was to go to the beach. The humans agreed and changed our travel plans and drove us to the coast and it was pawsome.

Two happy doggies cooling down!

I’d love to hear if anyone else has ever got caught in traffic like that? Do you have any tips for staying cool?






  1. says

    Phew, it was lucky your peeps were so well prepared!
    Can I ask which beach you went to? I tried to go to the beach earlier in the year but it said ‘no doggies allowed’:-(

    • says

      Rooooo the beach we went to was actually a no dogs allowed kind of place too, but someone had turned the sign so we didn’t know until we were on our way back and could read the sign *waggy tail*

  2. says

    Oh my goodness that’s downright scary. I love how people spring into action to help when they see others in trouble. No, this has never happened to us (I mean, worrying about heat when traffic is jammed) and we would not be nearly as well prepared as you were. Really makes me think…we need to put some water and a dish in the trunk just in case.

  3. says

    it is so great to hear that people rushed to help you, what a brilliant post and thank you for sharing. It is something that a lot of people don’t think about!

  4. says

    Anytime I have to travel with animals for more than a short distance (or out of city limits), I try to have a cooler full of frozen bottles of water and ice along with the regular stock of ice. I also keep a couple bottles of rubbing alcohol and cotton, so I can use that on their paws and chest, as it can cool them as well. So when the AC broke in my Jeep on a cross country drive, I was already set. I just added a huge bag of ice wrapped well in a few garbage bags for the dogs to lay near, and they were able to keep cool that way. And of course, several stops along the way ti visit stores like PetsMart where we could go walk in the air conditioning. At night it was cool enough to drive through, and we made it home in record time that year!

  5. says

    This blog has broadened my horizon about how a hot weather can sometimes change the whole perspective on things. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations again on a good job Alfie.

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