Did you know dogs can only release heat and cool themselves down by panting and sweating through their paw pads? This makes it very difficult to release heat from their bodies when in a hot car.

Many say “Just a couple minutes” so they can quickly run into the store. A couple minutes is too long to leave your pet in a car on a warm day. The BCSPCA explains that “If it is 26°C outside , inside a car – even with the windows cracked the temperature can reach 37°C in 10 minutes and 43°C in 20 minutes”.

This video is very eye opening as to what your pet experiences when left in a hot car. Please share: HOW HOT DOES IT GET IN A PARKED CAR 

Leaving all four windows cracked 1 or 2 inches will not keep the car cool. The air in the car remains very still even with a slight breeze outside. Unless you are cruising down the highway with the windows down the inside of your car is warmer compared to outside. Heat from the sunlight gets trapped in a car which quickly increases the temperature and stills the air.  This is why even on a warm Fall day your car can be deadly for your pet if in direct sunlight. If you are warm and standing outside think how stuffy and hot it would be to be trapped in a car.

What do you do if you see a dog left in a car on a hot day?

  1. Ask nearby stores to page customers
  2. Call your local Bylaw department or the non-emergency RCMP line
  3. Stay with the dog until help or the owner arrives

Emergency treatment for dogs with symptoms of heatstroke listed by the BCSPCA

  • Immediately move the animal to a cool, shady place.
  • Wet the dog with cool water.
  • Fan vigorously to promote evaporation. This process will cool the blood, which reduces the dog’s core temperature.
  • Do not apply ice. This constricts blood flow which will inhibit cooling.
  • Allow the dog to drink some cool water.
  • Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment.

Help spread awareness by putting up a poster at work or keep a pile of brochures at the front counter. There are plenty of free materials available to download and print through the BCSPCA or My Dog is Cool.   

If you see a dog in a hot car please act. It is easy to walk past the car and tell yourself that someone else will help the dog…but what if they don’t?