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NBers reminded to keep dogs cool this summer: NBSPCA

By Regis Phillips May 28, 2024 | 4:31 PM

The New Brunswick SPCA (NBSPCA) is reminding residents about the devastating impacts of leaving a dog in a parked car this summer.

Officials say dogs can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Without access to cool air, they are unable to regulate their body temperature. This means they heat up quickly, which can result in irreparable organ damage and even death caused by heat stroke.

Possible symptoms of heatstroke include excessive panting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, abnormal gum colour, lethargy, and seizures.

Chief Animal Protection Officer Tony Porter says they received 215 reports during the summer of 2023, compared with 176 reports in 2022, and have already received 35 reports this year.

“Never leave your dog locked in your car on a warm day, as the temperature in the vehicle rises substantially in just a few short minutes. The safest place for your dog on a hot day is in your home, where they have space, shelter from the heat, and access to water,” said Porter.

Porter advised the public to call the SPCA hotline or local police if they see a dog in distress and give a description of the car and license plate. However, he doesn’t condone forced entry.

“We want owners to understand that simply cracking the window or parking in the shade is not sufficient to protect your dog,” added Porter.

“NBSPCA animal protection officers will be monitoring parking lots across New Brunswick this summer. It’s an offence under the SPCA Act of New Brunswick to leave your dog in a car, and owners who do so may be subject to charges.”

If your dog is overheated, officials say to move them to a shaded area, put them on top of a cool, wet towel, pour cool water over their feet and ears, and give them small amounts of cool water to drink.

They said the dog should be taken to a veterinarian immediately for treatment if they are still showing signs of distress. The NBSPCA 24/7 hotline is 1-877-722-1522.