Keep your pets cool during this heat wave

Dog splashing in water

If you're a dog owner, you might be tempted to bring your furry friend along with you as you run your last minute errands for Canada Day. 

But you should probably rethink that.

According to Dr. Amanda Glew of the Timberlea Veterinary Clinic, in the heat we'll be experiencing in the coming days, a closed car can spell disaster for dogs.

''It only takes ten minutes in a closed car [...] for the dog's body temperature to reach 41 degrees celcius, at which point in time they're basically cooking inside,'' she warned.

Glew says once temperatures reach higher than 20 degrees, owners should either be leaving their dogs at home or having them by their side wherever they go. 

She also advises against taking your dog for a midday run in these temperatures, however tempting the sunshine and blue skies may be.

''Dogs can get hyperthermia just from being overheated, especially dogs with long coats at this time of year,'' she said. ''So you should not go running with your dog in the heat of ther day. And if you feel hot, they feel even hotter than we do because they're usually carrying a fur coat.''

Dr. Glew says if your dog appears to be overheating, the best course of action is to decrease the dog's body temperature down quickly. This can be done by immersing the dog in cool water or cool towels. But when that doesn't improve the animal's condition, the next step is to take them to the nearest veterinary clinic where they can be treated more effectively. 

Last week, a woman in Estrie was fined $149 for leaving her dog in her car unsupervised. No similar bylaws exist in Montreal, but the Montreal SPCA strongly advises against the practice, saying the inside of a parked car can reach 60 degrees celcius within minutes, resulting in an agonizing death for the animal.


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