How to Keep Pets Cool BC SPCA offers advice

The BC SPCA is out with a reminder not to forget the impact high temperatures can have on pets, as a heat warning is in effect for the Lower Mainland.

Vancouver branch manager Jodi Dunlop says the first and most important piece of advice she has is never to leave animals in cars.

“Don’t take your pet for groceries. It’s way too hot. Leaving a dog or a cat — usually a dog — in your car during the heat wave is unacceptable,” she says.

“Dogs can die within 10 minutes if left in a car or suffer irreversible brain damage. Please leave your animals at home. They will be healthy and happy there.”

She urges anyone who sees an animal left alone in a vehicle to report it to local law enforcement or the SPCA hotline immediately.

Another tip for dog owners is to adjust their timing of daily walks. Dunlop says early morning or evening is best because the sidewalk gets so hot during the day that it can quickly burn their sensitive soles.

Certain pets, she explains, have a harder time cooling themselves than others. Bulldogs, frenchies, Persian cats, and other “smush-faced” breeds may all need a little extra help and attention from their people. This may involve buying a cooling scarf or making one at home by wetting a towel with cold water.

Dunlop also says that while the heat is cause for concern, there are some fun options for keeping them cool, such as setting up an inflatable kiddie pool or the dog sprinkler.

Frozen treats, she says, are something that dogs, cats, and even smaller pets like rabbits and guinea pigs can enjoy. Mixing some food with water, mashing it and freezing it in an ice cube tray is Dunlop’s recommended recipe.

“Kids love freezies and popsicles, just like animals do,” Dunlop says.

During last year’s deadly heat dome, SPCA facilities received many reports of animals in distress. The organization also had to close facilities that do not have air conditioning so that staff could focus full-time on keeping the animals comfortable in their care.

“We have to remember that they don’t sweat like we do, so it’s very hard for them when it’s hot. We have to think about them first and foremost, keep them cool.”

More tips and information can be found on the BC SPCA website.

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