The Okanagan has experienced its hottest temperatures of year so far as summer creeps up on us and a West Kelowna veterinarian is once again reminding dog owners not to leave their pets unattended in vehicles.
“It’s not good because if it’s hot outside, dogs mobilize the heat through panting, so they dehydrate really fast,” said Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital’s Dr. Moshe Oz.
He said their fur plays a huge roll in how rapidly they will overheat and just like a baby, even ten minutes in a hot car is too much.
“If you have to have them in a hot vehicle, make sure all the windows are open and make sure there is water and don’t leave the dog in the car unattended,” said Oz.
Even if you think your pet seems fine, Oz said dogs suffer the symptoms of heat stroke up to 24 hours later.
He recommended mixing an ice cube with chicken and give your dog plenty of fluids during the summer to reduce any chance of dehydration or heat stroke.
Kelowna RCMP said it has received a half a dozen complaints across the Central Okanagan since June 1.
“We hope that’s an indication that the public is getting the message to leave pets at home,” said a police spokesperson.
The RCMP said the number does not reflect the total number of reports of pets left in hot cars received by the BC SPCA.
The BC SPCA Kelowna branch took over 185 calls last year (2018) concerning pets in cars at risk of heat stroke. So far in 2019, since May we have taken 76 calls so we are actually on track to surpass last year at this rate. “We have only now begun to see temperatures above 30 C which, in a vehicle with windows rolled down a couple inches can surpass 45 C in twenty minutes,” said Branch Manager of the Kelowna BC SPCA Sean Hogan.
He asks the public to call Kelowna BC SPCA daily between 9:00am-4:30pm at 250-861-7722 if you see a dog in distress.
The maximum penalty for someone who leaves a dog in a car in hot weather is a fine up to $75,000 under the Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act.