The Dangers of Pets in Cars and What to Do About it
The Regina Humane Society (RHS) urges all pet owners to 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 reach a level that will seriously harm or kill a pet in as little as ten minutes. Severe discomfort can occur sooner. Cars left running with air conditioning can fail and be equally dangerous – not to mention being easily stolen.
While the RHS understands that many pets like to go for car rides, dogs and cats cool themselves by panting and releasing heat through their paws. On summer days the air and upholstery in a vehicle can heat up to high temperatures, making it impossible for pets to cool themselves. Pets will be more comfortable if left at home.
Signs that a pet could be in trouble from heat exposure include exaggerated panting, salivation, lack of co-ordination, convulsions vomiting, and collapse.
If your pet shows signs of heat stroke, take the following actions:
- Gently move the animal to a cool, shady place
- Wet your pet with cool water (not cold)
- Fan vigorously to help cool
- Do not apply ice which can inhibit blood flow and cooling
- Allow your pet to drink luke-warm water
- Take your pet to a veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible
If you see a pet in a hot car and it seems to be in distress, call Regina Humane Society Animal Protection Services at 306- 777-7700 or your local police agency immediately. While the concern of the public is understandable, breaking the window may bring unwanted consequences your way. Animal Protection and Police officers are equipped to deal with the situation and will respond immediately.