Study Finds A Shocking Number Of People Leave Their Dogs Alone In Cars

As the weather hits record-breaking temperatures in the UK, dog owners really should know better than to leave their pooches in hot cars, but we see a few irresponsible people doing just that.

In a recent study from confused.com, researchers found a worrying 44 percent of dog-owning motorists said they had left their dog unattended in a car on a hot day, with seven out of 10 of those saying they had left their dog for an average of eight minutes; which is plenty of time to a car's temperature to rise to unbearable levels.


According to the RSPCA, a car sat in 24C degree heat can reach a sweltering 34 degrees Celsius in just 10 minutes, and a dangerous 43C degrees after just half an hour.

For members of the public, it can be a tough situation when you see a dog in a hot car, with many people not knowing the best cause of action - call the police, smash the window, attempt to find the owner or a combination of all of the above. I think most of us would like to think we'd do something, though, right?

However, the study found that three million drivers (or eight percent) did not step in when they spotted a dog left in a hot car.

The comparison site's social experiment found that only four out of hundreds of passersby stopped to help out Annie - a fake dog locked in a car in 28C heat.

Credit: Confused.com
Credit: Confused.com

Researchers found that one in five (22 percent) said they didn't help as they weren't aware of the risks.

Off the back of the study, confused.com in conjunction with the RSPCA has launched a 12-step guide on what to do if you see a dog left in a hot car. You can check it out here.

Today, the RSPCA has released more advice about what to do if you see a dog in a car in this weather, saying: "In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police. The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we'd need police assistance at such an incident.

"If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke - such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting - call 999 immediately."

For more information head to the RSPCA website here. And if you're a dog owner then please don't even consider leaving your four-legged pal in a car.

Featured Image Credit: RSPCA

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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