Leaving Pets in Cars During The Summer

Summer is here! Now that the nice weather has finally arrived, everyone and their pets are out looking to soak up the sunshine. Whether you are travelling to the beach, dog park, or just around the city, it’s important to remember issues with leaving your pets in the vehicle.

The main thing we get concerned about with pets being left in a hot car is heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to compensate for the hot weather. This results in an elevated body temperature that can cause organ failure, illness and in some cases, death. Unlike humans, dogs and cats do not have sweat glands over most of their body. Our pets have to rely on panting to cool themselves and panting itself creates heat.

Some signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, vomiting or excessive drooling, difficulty breathing and weakness or collapse. If you do notice these signs, try to get your pet cooled down immediately, and take to your veterinarian.

If you do see a dog that you believe to be in distress in a vehicle, what are you legally allowed to do? Saskatoon Police Services recommends to call both them and the SPCA. You are not allowed to break the window without first checking with both authorities. You can also try to go into the stores/business nearby and find the owners to let them know their animal is in distress.

The best way to prevent any of this from happening is to not leave your pets in the vehicle at all! Even if the windows are down and the air conditioning is running, temperatures can reach extremely high levels. Check out the chart that shows how high the temperatures can get, even after only a few minutes.


Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer!

Written by Raeanne Boyd, RVT