Owners just aren’t getting the message: Dogs should not be left alone in cars

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Dogs can develop heat stroke very quickly, especially when left alone in hot cars – Jun 5, 2016

The dog days of summer are quickly heating up.

Unlike humans, when our furry friends are feeling the heat, they can’t speak up. So it’s an owners responsibility to know the signs, symptoms and treatments of pet heat stroke.

“Be mindful of them, they can’t keep themselves cool as easily as we can,” Bill Thorn, Director of Communications with the Regina Humane Society said.

Heat stroke in pets can cause brain and organ damage within minutes. [ block quotes]

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Panting
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Excessive drooling (ptyalism)
  • Decreased activity
  • Seizures
  • Dark red gums


  • Emergency visit to the Vet
  • Immediate shade
  • Luke warm water to drink ( ice cold can cause shock)
  • A cool swim or bath
  • Massage the legs (a vigorous rubbing helps the dog’s circulation and reduces the risks of shock.)


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Louise Yates, owner of K-Lane Kennels is certified in pet first aid. She said much like that of a human’s, the mouth of a dog is very telling of overall health.

“If a dog was having heat stroke, their circulation would be in overdrive and the gums would be super red,” Yates said.

“So if you know what they look like in a normal state then you can tell if they’re having troubles with that.”

A common and preventable cause of heat stroke is when dogs are left in alone in vehicles.

Regina Humane Society said it’s still a scenario they see often, and that even one call is too many.

Tricia Zaphe is the Supervisor of Animal Protection with the Regina Humane Society and she said many owners think the dog is safe alone in a running car, but that is still not the case.

“You shouldn’t leave an animal in a vehicle unattended at all.” [ block quotes]

“There’s always that potential, you think you’re only going to be a few minutes, [but] you end up being longer and temperatures go up so fast,” Zaphe said.

Long haired breeds may need extra attention because their long coat can trap heat. As well, short nosed breeds may have issues with asthma and breathing.

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