BC SPCA has already responded to more than 800 calls about dogs in hot cars

The BC SPCA says they have already responded to 840 calls this year about dogs in distress in hot cars.

Last year, to date, they had responded to 514 ‘hot dog’ calls, leading to more than 1,100 calls in 2014. These calls do not include the ones the RCMP, police, animal control and fire services get called out to.

The BC SPCA says the temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with the windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill your pet.

What should you do if you see a dog in a hot car?

If you see a dog in a car on a warm or humid day who you believe may be in trouble, ask nearby stores to page customers. If the dog is in distress, call the SPCA Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1 (855) 6BC SPCA (1-855-622-7722). The call centre is open seven days per week: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If it is an animal emergency outside of these hours, contact your local police department, RCMP or animal control immediately.

Story continues below advertisement

Owners should also be alert to heatstroke symptoms, which include exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting), rapid or erratic pulse, salivation, anxious or staring expression, weakness and muscle tremors, lack of coordination, convulsions or vomiting, and collapse.

If your dog shows symptoms of heatstroke, you should do the following:

  • Immediately move the animal to a cool, shady place
  • Wet the dog with cool water
  • Fan vigorously to promote evaporation. This will cool the blood, which reduces the animal’s core temperature.
  • Do not apply ice. This constricts blood flow, which will inhibit cooling.
  • Allow the dog to drink some cool water (or to lick ice cream if no water is available)
  • Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment.

Sponsored content