With this upcoming sunny weather, and a second heat wave starting on Sunday, it’s a good time to remind ourselves that our furry friends’ needs are a little bit different than ours when it comes to heat management. Leaving your animal in the car for any amount of time can be fatal to it!
That’s because cats & dogs don’t have the same biological mechanisms as us humans to control their body temperature. They don’t sweat; they can only pant or lie down. Their fur also keeps them warmer than if they just had bare skin.
In order to help keep pets safe this summer, the SPCA’s blog posted a few key pointers on the “do’s and don’ts” of leaving a pet in your car:
Even just a few minutes CAN be dangerous.
Car temperatures increase quickly when it’s sunny. The enclosed space creates a “greenhouse effect” and it can get too hot for your pet very quickly. Even if you only plan on being gone for two minutes or less, we all know that sometimes, things can happen to distract you or delay you. It’s best not to take the risk!
Even with the A/C on, there is still a danger!
Air conditioning is a good way to keep you and your pet cool… But only if you’re both in the car! What if the A/C were to break down during a long errand? What if your pet turns off the A/C accidentally with its paw? It certainly won’t know how to turn it back on…
What to do if I see an animal locked into a car?
Call the police! It’s the quickest way to get legal emergency help when you believe an animal’s life is in danger. Cal 9-1-1 and wait by the car. Most importantly, DO NOT break into the car yourself. You could injure yourself and/or the animal and face charges for breaking and entering, as well as property damage.
How to treat heat stroke in animals…
DO NOT apply ice to the animal’s body. This can lead to dangerous thermal shock. Instead, cover your animal with wet towels to help gradually lower its body temperature. Let them drink water as well, but not too much.
Long story short…
It is NEVER acceptable to leave an animal alone in the car, even for short periods. You could even face criminal charges if your animal dies, as was the case with one Montreal woman recently.