Leaving your pet in the car on a warm day is okay, right? Wrong! The AVMA shared an independent study where researchers found that in a 21 degrees Celsius car, it took ten minutes for the temperature to jump to 32 degrees, and within half an hour the car was already 40 degrees! You can imagine how much worse this can be in the hot summer months! They also reported that cracking the window open doesn’t make much of a difference. So, what do you do if you see an animal in a potentially hot car?
First, look to see if the animal appears in distress. According to an Edmonton Humane Society article, signs an animal is in imminent danger include excessive panting and thick drool, a dark pink or purple tongue, a glazed appearance, lethargy, or panicking to escape the vehicle. Save that 911 call only for true emergencies. Once you’ve established the animal is not in immediate danger, check the area and nearby businesses for the owner. If you can’t find them, perhaps then it is time to call the non-emergency police number or the SPCA. Larger city centers (Calgary/Edmonton) have their own numbers to call, so doing a quick internet search can help you find the right number for the job. You may need to wait around until help arrives but imagine if someone cared enough to do the same for your pet!
Of course, prevention is the best treatment, so if you’re in doubt, leave your pet at home where possible, and make sure your friends know to do the same. That way we can all enjoy the right kind of hot dogs this summer!
Written by: Kyle West, Veterinary Student