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Keep Spot from getting hot

General

As temperatures rise across the province members of the public become increasingly concerned about pets being left in hot cars. The BC SPCA received hundreds of calls to rescue pets from hot vehicles in 2018 and is preparing for another busy summer. Owners and caretakers may believe they’re doing their furry friends a favour when bringing them along on errands, but if they can’t bring their pet into a store and don’t want to tie them up outside, they may think a few minutes in the vehicle won’t be a big deal. For a dog, though, minutes is all it takes for them to feel the life-threatening effects of a hot car.

What does heatstroke look like?

Signs of heatstroke include 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 or vomiting, and collapse.

If the animal is showing signs of heatstroke and you’re able to safely and lawfully move the animal out of the vehicle, do the following:

  • Move the animal to a cool, shady place.

  • Wet the animal with cool water. Do 

    not

     apply ice as this will constrict blood flow and discourage cooling.

  • Fan the animal to promote evaporation. This cools the blood, helping to reduce the animal’s core temperature.

  • Allow the animal to drink some cool water (or to lick ice cream if no water is available).

  • Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment.

Why you shouldn’t break glass windows when trying to save an animal

While most people mean well when they say they’d be willing to break a glass window to get an animal out of a roasting vehicle, it’s strongly recommended you don’t. Only RCMP, local police, and BC SPCA Special Constables have the authority to enter a vehicle lawfully to help a pet in distress. Not only are you putting yourself at risk when you break a glass window, but you also risk harming the dog.

What to do if you see an animal in distress in a parked vehicle:

  1. Note the license plate, vehicle colour, make and model and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately.

  2. If the animal is in distress, call your local animal control agency, police, RCMP, or the BC SPCA hotline at 1 (855) 622-7722 as soon as possible. 

Source: BCSPCA