The SPCA wants to remind pet owners not to leave dogs in hot cars as temperatures rise.
“We can’t stress enough that it can be fatal to leave your pet in a hot car, even for 10 minutes, but still we receive hundreds of calls about animals in distress, every year,” said BC SPCA general manager of community relations Lorie Chortyk in a statement.
“Doing so is so dangerous for your pet – the temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill a pet.”
Dogs have no sweat glands and can only cool themselves by panting and releasing heat through their paws.
Cars can heat up to well over 38 degrees Celsius in hot weather, and leaving a dog inside can lead to irreparable brain damage or death.
Symptoms of heatstroke in pets:
- Exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting)
- Rapid or erratic pulse
- Anxious or staring expression
- Weakness and muscle tremors
- Lack of coordination, convulsions
“If you’re used to letting your dog accompany you on errands, you might feel guilty leaving him behind on hot days,” Chortyk said.. But your dog will be much happier – and safer – at home, with shade and plenty of fresh cool water,” Chortyk says.
“But your dog will be much happier – and safer – at home, with shade and plenty of fresh cool water.”
If your pet shows symptoms of heatstroke:
- 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 animal to drink some cool water (or to lick ice cream if no water is available)
- Take the animal to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment
If you see a dog in distress, the SPCA recommends taking note of the vehicle license plate and information.
Ask managers in nearby businesses to see if the vehicle owner can be located.
Last year, a video went viral when a man smashed a car window to free a dog left inside on a hot day in Grand Bend, Ontario.
WATCH: Man breaks BMW window on hot day to free dog
Police say that it is illegal for members of the public to break a window to access the vehicle. Please contact police to retrieve the pet.
During the daytime, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, you can also call the BC SPCA animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722
-With files from Erica Vella