Nothing gets people more excited than the prospect of a warm, sunny summer day! What many pet owners don’t realize is that the summer sun can turn a car, even with the windows cracked, into a deadly situation for their pet.
A dog’s body temperature averages 38°C, and they are only able to physically withstand approximately 41°C for a very short time. That’s a difference of only three degrees! After that, a dog can become victim to heat stroke, brain damage and death. When you consider that a car – even parked in the shade with the windows cracked open – can be 50°C hotter inside than the temperature outside within an hour, it creates a deadly situation for a pet that can’t cry for help. Leave your pet at home when running errands, no matter how quick you plan to be.
It’s easy for you to grab a glass of water or stash a water bottle in the car, but it’s not as easy for your pet. Fresh, clean water is important to keep them hydrated especially in the summer. If your pet is a short-nosed breed, or elderly, owners must be particularly vigilant to ensure the heat and humidity doesn’t impact their breathing. Plan to exercise your dog during early mornings and later in the evenings when it is not as hot. During the middle of the day, hot asphalt can burn your pet’s paws, so stick to grass or the sidewalk when out for walks. Cooling down your pet can involve allowing them access to shade, hosing them down with cool water or creating a shallow area (such as a plastic children’s pool) with fresh water where they can splash if they like.
The summer is a great time to enjoy with your family and pets. If you take the appropriate precautions, you will have a wonderful and safe summer with your furry friends!
The Ontario SPCA encourages you to visit the “Downloads” section of their No Hot Pets website www.nohotpets.ca to access the Facebook banner, decals, posters and leaflets to share within your community to help spread the word to not leave pets unattended in hot vehicles.
To learn more about the dangers of leaving pets unattended in hot vehicles, please visit www.nohotpets.ca.