BC heat wave: SPCA offers tips on how to keep pets cool

The BC SPCA is reminding pet owners of the impact of hot weather can have on their four-legged family members as heat advisories are in effect for much of the province this weekend.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a special weather statement for BC’s South Coast Friday, with daytime temperatures expected to reach 10 to 15 C above seasonal averages for this time of year.

The weather agency says the heat wave could bring daytime highs reaching into the high 20s to low 30s, with overnight temperatures expected to hit the low to mid-teens.

According to the SPCA, the heat poses a serious risk to pets.

“Each year, the BC SPCA receives nearly 1,000 calls to rescue animals who have been left inside vehicles on hot days,” the animal welfare organization says in a news release. “We know that people love their pets and would never knowingly put them in danger, but pets can quickly suffer when left in a vehicle in warm weather — putting them at risk for heatstroke and even death.”

The SPCA adds that these scenarios are “completely preventable” and urges owners to leave their pets at home on hot days.

The animal welfare organization also shared a number of other tips to help keep pets cool and safe when the hot weather strikes:

• Keep pets hydrated: Leave out fresh bowls of cold water that are easily accessible to your furry friends. Those with a finicky feline may want to try a water fountain to entice their kitties to drink more water or add a few ice cubes to the bowl;

• Make a frozen treat bowl: Keep them cool and entertained by freezing their kibble or favorite treats in a bowl of frozen water;

• Give them a cool space to sleep: Before heading out for the day, ensure your pet has a cool spot to relax out of the direct sunlight. Pet owners may also want to close their blinds and curtains during the day to keep their home as cool as possible;

• Consider a cooling mat: Pets may enjoy a cooling mat to help prevent them from overheating on hot days;

• Keep a fan on: If you don’t have air conditioning, keep fans on when you’re not at home to ensure your pet stays comfortable.

The SPCA says keeping pets at a healthy weight and well-groomed at all times can also help prevent them from overheating.

The heat wave is expected to last until Tuesday.

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