It’s going to be hot this Canada Day weekend, so leave your pets at home

Take the Ontario SPCA's 'No Hot Pets' pledge to never leave an animal in a vehicle and to report it if you see it

Dog left unattended in car.

The Canada Day long weekend is shaping up to be a hot one, with temperatures forecast to reach 31°C on Saturday and 34°C on Sunday (Canada Day).

During extreme heat, it’s obvious to most of us that you never, ever leave children or pets unattended in parked vehicles. But it’s not just during a heat wave: even on relatively mild days during the summer, and even with a car parked in shade and with the windows cracked open, the temperature inside a car can reach a deadly level.

Because of the greenhouse effect, within five to 15 minutes the interior of a car can become 30°C hotter than the outside temperature. Cracking the car windows has a negligible effect; it only reduces the interior temperature of a parked car by a single degree. That means that leaving a child or pet in a parked car during the summer can be a death sentence.

There's no excuse for leaving your pet unattended in a vehicle during the summer. (Graphics: Ontario SPCA)
There’s no excuse for leaving your pet unattended in a vehicle during the summer. (Graphics: Ontario SPCA)

Pets are particularly vulnerable to hot temperatures. Dogs, for example, have a limited ability to sweat. This means that even a brief time in a hot environment can be life threatening — irreparable brain damage or even death can occur within minutes when interior temperatures increase over 39°C.

Unfortunately, the issue of owners leaving their pets unattended in vehicles during the hot summer months is a serious and ongoing problem across Ontario.

“People still aren’t getting the message about how dangerous it is to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle,” says Shawn Morey, Executive Director of the Peterborough Humane Society.

“It’s completely unacceptable. Leave your pet at home, and if you must take your pet, make sure that someone is with it at all times.”

VIDEO: “No Excuses. No Hot Pets”

To help raise awareness and safeguard the lives of animals, the Ontario SPCA encourages you to visit www.nohotpets.ca and take the “No Hot Pets” pledge to never leave an animal in a vehicle — and to report it if you see it happen.

Those who make the pledge will receive a free “No Hot Pets” window decal for their vehicles (while supplies last).

Remember: if you see an animal unattended in a vehicle, report it immediately by calling the Ontario SPCA at 310-7722 (no area code needed), your local humane society, or your local police.

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