Animal Protection

Dogs in Hot Cars

As the temperature rises, so do the number of calls about dogs being left in vehicles.

Most people understand that leaving a pet in a vehicle on a hot day can lead to death or serious health problems for dogs in a very short period of time. However, even on mild summer days it does not take long for the temperature in a car to reach dangerous levels. The following chart shows the temperature inside a vehicle in a study conducted at San Francisco State University. The figures have been converted to Celsius from Fahrenheit.

The study also found that cracking the windows or parking in the shade did not have much impact on how hot a vehicle gets.

Heatstroke in Dogs

Dogs have limited ability to sweat so the effects of a warm vehicle are exacerbated for our canine friends. This means a dog can overheat and go into medical distress quickly. A warm vehicle creates a potentially lethal environment in a very short period of time.

If you see a dog inside a vehicle, call 911. Police can get to the dog to free it much quicker than an Alberta SPCA Peace Officer.

The signs of heatstroke

  • Listlessness
  • Excessive panting
  • Restlessness
  • Pet appears distressed

What to do if a dog is suffering from heatstroke

  • Move to a cool or shaded area and direct a fan on him/her
  • Begin to cool the body by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits and in in the groin area
  • Wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water
  • Transport to a veterinary clinic immediately
  • What not to do
  • Do not force water into your pet, but have it available if they show interest in drinking
  • Do not overcool the animal
  • Do not leave your pet unattended for any length of time

Report an Animal
in Distress

1-800-455-9003

What happens when you Call?

When you call our Animal Distress Line 1-800-455-9003 we open up a file similar to a police investigation. In order to do so, we need timely, first-hand details to proceed.

What Should you Expect

We open up a file similar to a police investigation. In order to do so, we need timely, first-hand details to proceed. When calling, we will ask for a few simple questions.

When Do We Seize Animals

Alberta SPCA Peace Officers sometimes need to take animals into protective custody. When they do so, the officers will post a notice at the former location of the animals stating the reason for the seizure.

Investigating Neglect & Abuse

Our Peace Officers investigate every complaint we receive. We can only investigate if we have reasonable and probable grounds to believe there may have been an offence under the Animal Protection Act.

To hear the latest from the Alberta SPCA, subscribe to our newsletter.

Don't miss new updates in your email