Deadly summer heat: Leaving dogs and cats in vehicles can kill them, OPP says

By Bancroft OPP

Over the summer months Ontario Provincial Police officers attend
numerous calls about pets left in unattended vehicles.opp logo
If it’s hot, your pet may be in trouble! During warm or hot weather pet guardians must
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
rapidly reach a level that can seriously harm or even kill your pet. Leaving your pet in a
car with the air conditioning on is also taking a risk as many pets have died as the result
of a faulty air-conditioning system.
Dogs (and cats) cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws.
On summer days the air and upholstery in your vehicle can heat up to high
temperatures that make it impossible for pets to cool themselves. Your pet will be more
comfortable if left at home.

Symptoms of heatstroke:
• Exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting);
• rapid or erratic pulse;
• salivation;
• anxious or staring expression;
• weakness and muscle tremors;
• lack of coordination;
• tongue and lips red (which may eventually turn bluish in colour);
• convulsions or vomiting;
• collapse, coma and death.

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