SPCA: Leave your dogs at home in hot weather

The BC SPCA responded to 288 complaints of dogs left in cars in June. - Submitted photo
The BC SPCA responded to 288 complaints of dogs left in cars in June.
— image credit: Submitted photo

As the summer heat continues, some people still don’t understand the danger the hot weather poses to their four-legged friends.

The BC SPCA says they responded in June to 228 calls to help dogs in distress, and the continued hot weather has the organization urging people to leave their pets at home, if they can’t be kept safe.

“We can’t stress strongly enough how dangerous this is for your pet,” aid Lorie Chortyk, BC SPCA general manager of community relations. “If you’re used to letting your dog accompany you on errands, you might feel guilty leaving him behind on hot summer days. But your dog will be much happier – and safer – at home with shade and plenty of cool water.”

Chortyk noted that dogs don’t sweat and can only withstand high temperatures for a short time before they overheat and suffer brain damage or death.

“The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with the windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill a pet,” Chortyk said. “In just minutes, the temperature in a parked car can climb to well over 38 degrees.”

The symptoms of heatstroke include: exaggerated (or suddenly stopped) panting, rapid pulse, salivation, anxious or staring expressions, weakness, muscle tremors, lack of co-ordination, convulsions or vomiting, and collapse.

Dogs showing symptoms should be moved to a cool shady place, doused with cool water and fanned vigorously to promote evaporation.

A dog in distress should be given water to drink and taken to a vet as soon as possible.

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