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

Rossland’s asset management planning takes centre stage at BC conference

Mayor Kathy Moore and CAO Bryan Teasdale recapped Rossland’s asset and infrastructure planning.

City of Rossland celebrates completion of Spokane Street Infrastructure Project

The City of Rossland celebrated the completion of the Spokane Street Infrastructure Project.

Thankful client shares story at Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy AGM

Kyoko Smith came to CBAL through a settlement program, her story highlights what CBAL is all about.

Politics and the Trail public library

Trail addresses the politics of public library; challenges with funding and governance

UPDATE: Two seriously injured in head-on crash near Genelle

A multi-vehicle accident closed down Highway 22 between Castlegar and Genelle for almost four hours

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

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Most Read