The BCSPCA reminds owners to leave pets at home during the hot summer months. Even a short time in a hot car can be dangerous for an animal.

Summer heat puts pets at risk

SPCA advices you not to leave your pets in a hot car, leave them at home instead.

The BCSPCA reminds pet owners not to leave their animals alone in a hot vehicle.

During warm weather, pet guardians must take precautions against the danger of heat exhaustion and heatstroke for their pets. 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 your pet.

Leaving your pet in a car with the air conditioning on is also taking a risk, as many pets have died as the result of a faulty air-conditioning system.

If you see a dog in a car on a warm or humid day which you believe may be in trouble, ask nearby stores to page customers. If the dog is in distress, call the BCSPCA’s Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1-855-622-7722. The call centre is open seven days per week: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If it is an animal emergency outside of these hours, contact your local police department, RCMP or animal control immediately.

Dogs (and cats) cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws. On summer days, the air and upholstery in your vehicle can heat up to high temperatures that make it impossible for pets to cool themselves. Your dog will be more comfortable if left at home.

Note that dogs also risk overheating if exercised outside during the day in hot weather. Choose the early morning and evening when it’s cooler to exercise your dog. Always remember to bring extra water for your dog and take lots of breaks.

Information courtesy of the BCSPCA