See our emergency contact page here.

Dogs in Hot Cars

It is never a good idea to take your dog out in the car in the hot summer months. But sometimes we have to. There are steps you can take to help reduce the chances of your dog overheating, or worse, a tragic death.

  • Plan your outing so there are no unexpected stops that could leave your pooch unattended for any length of time.
  • Keep a bottle of water and a bowl in the vehicle.
  • Place a note on your window with your phone number, this will give people a number to call if there is a problem, and prevent an unwanted smashed window.
  • Always leave both windows down a couple of inches to promote air flow.
  • Park in the shade.
  • Park as close to the entrance of your destination as possible. This will be the first place people will look for the owner of the vehicle.
  • Please note that idling a car is a bylaw infraction in some jurisdictions.

What to do if you see a dog in a hot car:

  • Before you call the SPCA Hotline 1-855-622-7722, check to see if the dog is in distress. Often times people think an animal is in distress because it is barking frantically at the window. Dogs will often do this when a stranger is peering in at them, causing them to become anxious.
  • Monitor the dog for a few minutes, the car may have just arrived.
  • People typically park as close to their destination as possible, check with nearby business and ask if they can make a public announcement or help to locate the owner.
  • Check to see if there are windows open, water in the car, shade. Make a note of the location of the vehicle, the plate number and the make and model. This information will be needed for the SPCA to respond.
  • Call the SPCA Hotline 1-855-622-7722

Signs of Distress:

  • The dog will often be on the floorboard of the vehicle as they try to get as low as they can and seek shade.
  • The dog will be panting heavily with labored breathing.
  • May be vomiting or blood in the nose.
  • Glazed eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Will show little interest in anyone at the window.