Dogs have no sweat glands and can withstand high temperatures for only a short time, says the SPCA.

BC SPCA warns: A hot car is no place for your pet

Temperature in parked vehicle can reach over 38 degrees Celsius

  • Jun. 23, 2017 9:30 a.m.

With the arrival of summer and scorching temperatures this weekend, the BC SPCA is reminding people to leave their pets at home rather than in their vehicle.

“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,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA.

“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.”

Chortyk said the temperature in a parked car can climb to well over 38 degrees Celsius.

Dogs have no sweat glands, so they can only cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws, she notes.

Dogs can withstand high temperatures for only a very short time – in some cases, just minutes – before suffering irreparable brain damage or death.

“If you’re used to letting your dog accompany you on errands, you might feel guilty leaving him behind on hot days. But your dog will be much happier – and safer – at home, with shade and plenty of fresh cool water,” Chortyk says.

She says it is illegal for members of the public to break a window to access a vehicle; only police and special provincial constables of the SPCA can lawfully enter a vehicle.

If anyone sees an animal they think is in distress, it is suggested they call the BC SPCA animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722 during business hours (9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends) and staff will connect them with their local animal control or police. In an emergency, call 911.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE A DOG IN DISTRESS IN A PARKED VEHICLE

• Note the licence plate and vehicle information and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately.

• Call to report the situation if no owner is found or when the animal is suffering heatstroke symptoms.

• Keep emergency supplies – bottled water, a small bowl, a towel that can be soaked in water – in your car so that you help hydrate an animal (if a window has been left open) while you wait for emergency response; a battery-powered fan from a dollar store also can be handy to circulate air.

SYMPTOMS OF HEATSTROKE IN PETS

• 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

• Vomiting

• Collapse

Visit spca.bc.ca for more information.

Click here for a hot pet infographic

Click here for a Dogs in Hot Cars poster

Click here for an information brochure

RELATED STORIES

Police smash two windows to save dogs from hot cars

Calls about hot dogs in cars heats up in Langley

Just Posted

Drunk driver ticketed after wrong-way rollover

Nanaimo man crashes on Inland Island Highway near Qualicum Beach

Car fire on Hwy. 19 near Nanoose slowing traffic

Fire has been put out, and the car has been removed

Bowser woman recovering from stabbing wounds

Police arrest 22-year-old male suspect in Nov. 14 incident

SOS marks 50 years of Christmas giving in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Society to mark golden anniversary with series of events in 2018

Homeless society unveils community care mobile in Parksville

Health care items, advice to be dispensed from RV

VIDEO: Clay throwing demonstration

Local potter giving demos during annual sale

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Port Alberni resident robbed with weapon, thieves steal thousands

Most of the stolen currency is in Canadian $100 bills. The police investigation is ongoing.

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Most Read