Heat Alert: Protecting Your Pets from Summer Heat

Summer is here, bringing fun and outdoor adventures. But with the heat comes the need for extra care for our pets. Leaving pets in parked cars, even for a few minutes, can be devastating. Let's explore how to keep your pets safe and how our services can help.
Sad dog left alone in the car

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This Simple Choice Could Save a Life

Imagine this: It’s a warm summer day, and you need to run a quick errand. You leave your dog in the car, thinking it’ll be just a minute. But even a few minutes can turn a comfortable car into a scorching oven. The heat your dog experiences can be much worse than what you feel. Dogs can’t sweat to cool down like humans. Instead, they cool themselves by panting. However, in an already hot, enclosed space, panting becomes ineffective as a cooling mechanism, leading to rapid heatstroke. It’s not just uncomfortable for them; it’s dangerous!

The Hidden Dangers of Rising Temperatures

Think of your car as a solar oven. Heat builds up rapidly, with 75% of the temperature rise occurring in the first five minutes. While several factors come into play—being parked in the sun or shade, dark versus light-coloured vehicles, and windows cracked or closed—what remains the same is that all situations lead to a maximum temperature that promotes hyperthermia. In one study, the temperature difference between cracked and closed windows was only 0.2°C per 5 minutes, and the final temperature reached in the vehicle was the same at 55 minutes.

How Hot is Too Hot?

We hear this reminder yearly, yet dogs are still left in cars on hot days. Even on a mild day of 21°C, the temperature inside a car can exceed 38°C in just 30 minutes. During summer, temperatures can reach over 60°C with the windows cracked! The message is clear—never leave your dog in the car when it’s warm outside.

Recognizing Heatstroke: Signs to Watch For

Heatstroke in pets is severe and requires immediate vet care. Be vigilant for these signs:

– Excessive panting

– Drooling

– Sluggishness or unresponsiveness

– Bright red gums

– Vomiting

– Disorientation

Breeds Most at Risk

Overweight pets and breeds with short noses, like Frenchies, Bulldogs, and Pugs or thick fur, like Huskies, are more prone to heatstroke. They rely on us to keep them safe.

Legal Implications: Protect Your Pets and Yourself

Thankfully, leaving a pet in a hot car is illegal in many places. In Alberta, it can lead to severe penalties, including hefty fines and potential bans on pet ownership.

The Power of Safe Choices

In addition to causing distress and heatstroke, leaving cars running with your dog inside can attract thieves. Unfortunately, there have been far too many cases in Calgary where vehicles with dogs inside have been stolen. This situation must be terrifying for the pets and their owners!

Instead, make safe arrangements for your dogs when running errands. Consider our Stay & Play service—a secure and fun environment for your dogs while you handle your tasks. Prioritize your dog’s safety and your peace of mind!

How You Can Be a Hero

If you see a pet in a hot car, you can make a life-saving difference:

1. Assess the Situation: Look for signs of distress like panting or lethargy.

2. Note the Details: Record the car’s make, model, color, and license plate.

3. Seek Help: Alert nearby businesses or call local authorities.

4. Stay with the Car: Wait until help arrives to ensure the pet’s safety.

5. Raise Awareness: Share this message on social media to prevent future incidents.

Imagine the impact of your actions—saving a life and inspiring others to be vigilant. Together, we can ensure our dogs’ safety and well-being. Use our Stay & Play service, spread the word, and always keep your pets cool and safe. Let’s make a difference together.

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