July 25th
Why Leaving Pets in Cars on a Hot Summer Day Can Be Fatal

As the scorching sun blankets us during the summer months, many of us are drawn to the great outdoors to soak up the warmth. However, we often overlook a grave danger lurking for our beloved pets: being left alone in a parked car on a sweltering day. The temperature inside a car can rapidly escalate, leading to life-threatening consequences for our furry companions – who rely on us for their safety and well-being. So, here we are answering some of the questions that will help you keep your pet safe in warm weather.

Is it okay to leave my pet in a vehicle if I’m only running into a store quickly?

Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows open. For the safety of your pet, leave them at home where they are comfortable and safe if you’re unable to bring them with you when you leave your vehicle. If something unexpected were to delay you from returning to your vehicle, such as a long lineup or a medical emergency, it could cost your furry friend their life.

Is it safe to leave my pet in my car if the AC is running (or a Tesla in “dog mode”)?

If you can’t take your animal with you, leave them at home where they are safe. If your car malfunctioned while you were away, it could quickly reach deadly temperatures, putting your furry friend’s life at risk.

What should owners be aware of in terms of heat exhaustion and their pets?

Keep in mind that when you find it hot outside, so does your pet! Animals are more susceptible to extreme temperatures than humans due to their limited ability to regulate body heat. Anything from their size, breed and coat can play a factor in how the heat impacts them. Pets suffering from heat exhaustion can still walk but they may seem more lethargic. If you notice any signs of exhaustion, immediately take your pet into shade / a breeze or indoors in air conditioning. Make sure to offer them drinking water and give them enough time to rest.

What are the signs of a dog suffering from heat stroke?

Heatstroke is a medical emergency. You will see symptoms such as: excessive panting, dark red gums, collapse, and your pet may seem unresponsive. If your pet is suffering from heat stroke, you should:

    • Immediately remove your pet from the hot environment and call your veterinarian, or prepare to leave for your emergency vet.
    • Start the cooling process – cool cloths, cool water – avoid ice cold water to not shock their system.
    • Keep your pet in air conditioning or in a breeze, including while in the car to the vet.

What can residents do if they see a pet in a hot car?

If you are concerned about the welfare of an animal in a hot car, please call your local police right away. You can also call Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) at 1-833-9ANIMAL. In the areas we service, our animal services officers can attend the call but cannot remove a pet from a vehicle. Hence, please ensure to call the police or PAWS.