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Nanaimo Veterinary Hospital

Dogs and Heatstroke

Of course, all responsible dog owners know NOT TO LEAVE THEIR DOG(S) IN THE CAR IN THE SUMMER. Without fail, though this fact is hammered into us every year once the temperatures start to heat up. Unfortunately, these warnings are often prompted by yet another tragic tale of someone who did not heed advice and left a dog or dogs in a hot car. This year, it was the story of a dog walker in Langley who first claimed that her six charges had been stolen, then later admitted that she had left them in the car, where they succumbed to heatstroke.

Many of us have dogs that love coming with us anywhere and everywhere we go. In cooler months, this is not a problem, but once the sun is blazing down, it is best to leave pooches at home while we go about our daily travels. That is, unless you are headed somewhere dog-friendly, which, thankfully seems to be more and more common these days. Just 10 minutes in a car sitting in 25 degree weather can cause heat exhaustion or death. Keep in mind, also, that dogs and cats can succumb to heatstroke outside of the car, whether it's on a walk or just in the sun for a long period of time. The infographic below shows you what to look for if you suspect your pet may be suffering from heat stroke.

In addition to reminding us not to leave our dogs unattended in hot cars, the tragic story of the Langley dog walker can also teach us another lesson: Do your due diligence before agreeing to entrust your beloved pet to anyone new. Conduct an thorough interview full of  "what would you do if.." questions, ask for references and observe how the potential hire interacts with your pet(s). If anything about the person strikes you as "off," don't hesitate to tell him or her, "thanks, but no thanks," and then continue your search. Your peace of mind, and more importantly, your pet's health, is worth it.


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