Leave your dogs at home, not in the car: Regina Humane Society

Dogs can suffer from heatstroke if left in a warm vehicle, which can be fatal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mohssen Assanimoghaddam

Hot dogs don’t make for happy pets.

The Regina Humane Society (RHS) is reminding pet owners to keep their dogs at home this summer, not in the car.

The organization has answered 38 calls of pets being left in vehicles since May.

“That’s an average of one every couple of days which is far too many and unfortunately we find ourselves in a position of having to again remind people of the dangers of leaving your pet in the car,” said Bill Thorn, RHS public relations director.

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According to Thorn, in one of those incidents the dog died.

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Dogs can suffer from heatstroke when left in a vehicle, which could be fatal or at the very least quite uncomfortable, Thorn said.

“Dogs lose their heat through the pads of their feet and if the chair or the car seat is hot, they’re going to have a tough time doing that,” he said.

Cracking a window or running the air conditioning aren’t solutions either.

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“Something what might feel quite cool to us is going to feel very warm to them.”

Thorn added that vehicles and air conditioners aren’t foolproof and can often fail.

“We understand there are occasions that you don’t expect and it’s just unavoidable to (leave your dog in the car), but those aren’t the situations we’re really talking about,” Thorn said.

“We’re talking about the ones where you’re going grocery shopping and you’re taking the dog with you. You’re not with the dog anyway, the dog’s not with you.

“Leave him at home where he’s much more comfortable and safe.”

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If someone see a dog left in a vehicle, they can call the RHS animal protection line at 306-777-7700 or contact the Regina Police Service.

“If the animal is deemed to be in distress, they will remove the animal from the car,” Thorn said.

Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke, including dogs with short snouts, fat or heavily-muscled dogs, long-haired breeds, and very old or very young dogs.

Signs to look for include heavy panting, profuse salivation, vomiting, lethargy and lack of coordination.

If a dog is experiencing these symptoms, RHS said owners should move them to a shaded area and call the vet for advice.

Click to play video 'The dangers of leaving pets in hot cars' The dangers of leaving pets in hot cars
The dangers of leaving pets in hot cars – Jun 6, 2019