With the arrival of hot weather in the Metro Vancouver, local police have issued a warning to motorists to not leave their pets inside vehicles.
“An animal can be overwhelmed by heat in as little as ten minutes,” said North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Richard De Jong in a statement. “The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with partly open windows, can rapidly reach a level high enough to seriously harm or even kill your pet.”
Over recent weeks, the police detachment has received a number of calls for police to respond to instances of dogs found in vehicles and appearing to be in distress.
Police are reminding the public to not take matters into their own hands and instead wait for a police office to arrive.
Dogs can only withstand hot temperatures for a very short period as they do not have sweat glands and can only cool themselves by panting and release heat through their paws. They could suffer irreparable brain damage or death within minutes of being left in an hot environment.
Hearstroke symptoms in dogs include: exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting), rapid or erratic pulse, salivation, anxious or staring expression, weakness and muscle tremors, lack of coordination, convulsions or vomiting, and collapse.
What to do when your dog has heatstroke symptoms
1. Immediately move the dog to a cool, shady place.
2. Wet the dog with cool water.
3. Fan vigorously to promote evaporation. This will cool the blood, which reduces the animal’s core temperature.
4. Do not apply ice. This constricts blood flow, which will inhibit cooling.
5. Allow the dog to drink some cool water (or to lick ice cream if no water is available).
6. Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment.