Dogs in Hot Cars – Don’t Risk It!

Dogs in Hot Cars – Don’t Risk It!


Ah, there’s nothing like an Aussie summer – pools, family barbeques and trips to the beach…we can’t wait! 

But summer in Australia also means major heat waves, and with record breaking hot temperatures already this spring we can guarantee this coming summer is going to be a scorcher. Sadly, the accidental locking of pets in hot cars is on the rise and is something we really, really want to avoid. 

The NRMA have recently conducted a study on accidental locking of pets in cars and found there has been an 88% increase of these incidents in the past 12 months. There has been a staggering 1500 pets rescued from cars in NSW and the ACT, with causes as simple as human error (such as locking keys in cars and new automatic locking technology) or excitable pets jumping and knocking internal locks.

So pet sitters and pet owners, this is for you. If you’re armed with knowledge and you spread the word amongst your friends and family, we can bring awareness and hopefully prevent incidents like this from happening!

Some handy tips include -

• Leave the driver door ajar or window down when packing the boot or moving away from the car.

• Place your keys in a clothes pocket or somewhere close to your body.

• Try to keep your keys in the same safe place every time - focus on where you put them, particularly when taking a phone call, loading the boot or placing a child in a car seat.

• Don’t rush because another driver is waiting for the parking space.

• Visit the RSPCA and grab a ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ poster to put up somewhere in your neighbourhood to raise awareness.

And if you see a pet locked in a car –

• Make note of the car’s make, model and license plate number.

• Notify any businesses nearby, or if in a shopping centre try to notify ground staff and security. 

• If the owner can't be found, call the police on 000 and wait by the car for them to arrive. The dog ideally should be taken to a vet for emergency treatment (a tip - don’t try to cool the dog down too rapidly with ice packs or loose ice – water, damp towels and shade are preferred).

• Alternatively ring the RSPCA on the following numbers- 

ACT 1300 4 RSPCA (1300 477 722)

NSW 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589)

NT 08 8999 8520

QLD 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

SA 1300 4 RSPCA (1300 477 722)

TAS 1300 139 947 

VIC 03 9224 2222

WA 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589)

It’s super important to understand that a coolish day DOES NOT mean a cool car – and that winding a window down for a quick trip into the shops won’t significantly lower the temperature inside your car. It can take less than 10 minutes for the interior of a car to more than double in temperature, which can be deadly for an animal or child inside. Shade is deceptive too, as the clouds can move quickly and make little difference to the interior temperature.

If you have to, bring your dog with you instead, or secure them in a shaded, secure spot outside of the car – or best option of all, leave your dog at home where you know they will be safe. It is far too easy to get distracted and take longer than planned!

If you need to run around and do errands this summer, such as Christmas shopping, and don’t want to bring your dog, why not use a Pawshake pet sitter? Head to and enter your suburb in the search bar to see who is nearby in your community!