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

BC BUDGET: Fare freeze and free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

Driver of vehicle down 90-foot embankment rescued on Highway 5 near Hope

Rope rescue conducted on mutual-aid call with Chilliwack SAR, Hope SAR and Agassiz fire department

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

BC Cattlemen’s Association calls for remediation of firebreaks to prevent erosion, spread of invasive species

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

New group for parents of overdose victims launched by Langley mother

There is a lack of long-term resources for grieving parents

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

Coquitlam piano teacher accused of sex assault involving former students

Police say Dmytro Kubyshkin has been teaching in private homes for more than 20 years

UBCO students to get medical cannabis coverage

Kelowna - The pilot project will be implemented in April

BC BUDGET: NDP push for purpose-built rentals in ‘historic’ $1.6B investment

Hundreds of thousands of new low- and middle-income units coming over three years

Most Read