A family pet drove into a Cromwell cafe after being left alone in a running vehicle.

Wilco, a staffordshire ridgeback cross, was sitting by himself in his owner's ute when he pushed down the column gear change about 5.30pm yesterday.

The vehicle rolled forward 15 metres before crashing into the front bifold doors of Fusee Rouge cafe.

The cafe's glass doors were bent out of shape but not broken.

Cafe owner Jacynda Wallace told the Southland Times that the doors would need to be replaced, but she was insured.

Senior Constable John Chambers said it was lucky the vehicle was travelling slowly.

The unusual incident was a reminder not to leave animals or children alone in a vehicle with the keys in the ignition, he said.