With our early start to summer and record-breaking temperatures so far in the Comox Valley this May, it’s time to keep our pets at home and not in our cars! Temperatures have already reached well above the low to mid 20’s, and that is too hot for any pet to be left in a car, even in the shade.
Just a minute, is a minute too long! It can take less than 10 minutes for a parked car to reach temperatures that can cause heat stroke; dogs die every year from being left in hot cars. At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we see dogs every year for heatstroke, due to being left for just a few too many minutes in a parked car. Leaving the windows down is not enough.
If you see a dog in a parked car this summer, or signs that a dog may be in distress while locked in a parked car, you can do the following to help:
- Take down the car’s make, model and license plate number and ask a nearby store or security guard to make an announcement.
- Call your local animal control or shelter; it’s a great idea to have this number programmed in your phone.
- If you don’t know your local animal control officer’s phone number, call the police.
Dogs show signs of distress in hot cars by being quite agitated, panting hard, barking excessively or they could be listless, shaking or unresponsive in the vehicle.
Signs of heatstroke include:
- Hard panting/red tongue or lips
- Rapid pulse
- Lack of coordination, weakness, tremors
- Convulsions and vomiting or diarrhea
- Collapse, coma and death
Remember, if its warm outside, be kind and leave your pets at home!
Written by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital