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

UPDATE: One injured in collision near Onion Lake

The semi truck and van collided between Terrace and Kitimat at 1:45 p.m. Nov. 15.

MBay park gets provincial cash injection

The money will be used for a fully accessible 800 metre loop trail

Tax cut good news for small businesses

Small-business corporate income tax rate to drop from 2.5 to 2 per cent

Arsonists jailed for 2014 blaze

Supreme Court hears mother and children of Kitimat home still traumatized

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read