Is this dog treat branding as horrific as it seems?

Hot Hounds packaging and treat
(Image credit: Hot Hounds)

Did you know that during the summer a car's internal temperature can reach up to 70 degrees Celsius? That's hot enough to bake a dog treat, but it's also hot enough to kill a dog. A range of car-baked dog treats called Hot Hounds has used this connection, as well some clever packaging design (opens in new tab), to highlight the risk that hot cars pose our canine friends.

Released last month by Canadian social enterprise Earth Paws (opens in new tab), Hot Hounds (opens in new tab) was a limited edition range of dog treats that were baked in overheated cars. The biscuits and logo are centred around a deceptively cute design, which features a deceased dog in a flame.

It can take a moment to process the morbid message, but once you do, you'll realise that Hot Hounds has used its packaging and graphic design in a really smart way. With its twee logo and typeface, you could almost mistake Hot Hounds for a regular brand of dog treats. This makes it all the more effective when its statement hits home.

Together with pastel colours, the contrast of Hot Hounds' cheerful branding and serious message is a disturbingly inspired way to raise awareness of the threat canine heat stroke.

As if the angle of car-baked dog treats wasn't good enough, Hot Hounds were made with 100 per cent natural and organic ingredients. You can even see them getting cooked in a car in the video above.

Unfortunately, Hot Hounds has completely sold out. But the good news is that all proceeds from the sales have gone to the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. What's more, you can still make a donation to the SPCA when you head over to the Hot Hounds website (opens in new tab).

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Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.