WHAT’S UP DOWNTOWN – Keeping hearts warm and coats cool

(Image: Downtown CAP team)

AS PET OWNERS, we know that most dogs can be very easy to please. A nice meal and a solid walk, followed by a relaxing nap means that you have a very content canine.

Doesn’t sound half bad if you ask me! Another thing that the average pooch loves, is going for a ride in the family car. Ever wonder why dogs love riding in cars? The answer comes down to that good old fashion primal urge known as ‘hunting’.

When wolves hunt in packs they move together as one. A coordinated force that can over-come prey that they normally would not physically be able to challenge. Even with the same numbers, they must work together! When all the excitement of the hunt is going on, wolves can feel individually “weightless” and their senses and stimuli kick in to overdrive.

When comparing wolves and the pack mentality, it is easy to see some of the similarities between the two scenarios. In a car, everyone faces the same direction and sways with the curves of the road at the same speed. Not to mention the dog, and everyone else in the car, feel weightless. People and animals all combine for the thrilling adventure. See a pattern? A car ride for a dog means that Princess the Pomeranian is channelling her inner 100-pound wolf.

However, what they will not enjoy as much is overheating on those fancy new leather seats! Humans and animals alike all must adapt during cases of hot weather. This is where we differ from our furry friends.

A normal sunny day doesn’t seem so bad in a vehicle for us but as soon as the air turns off and the windows go up 90 per cent of the way, this can spell disaster for animals. After roughly 15 minutes, a vehicles temperature can rise 10 degrees. It clearly does not take long for things to go from bad to worse.

With little to no extra air, this interferes with the dog’s cooling process, which is evaporation through panting. If a dog is too hot then it can suffer heat stroke. Signs of a heat stroke include: rapid panting, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, thick sticky saliva, depression, weakness, dizziness, vomiting – sometimes with blood, diarrhea, and shock.

For pet owners, it is better to be safe than sorry and to only bring the pets out for short periods of time plus always having them supervised. It might feel like a hassle making multiple trips if you need to run into the grocery store but at the end of the day, it beats the potential horrors of an injured animal.

If you find a dog that you believe is in distress, take a picture and phone the RCMP. Do not break the window as the owner of the car could charge you the bill for repairs.

So, if you keep those car rides exciting and fun while keeping your pet safe from the heat, you’ll be the pack leader in no time!

Written by Jonathan George from the Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) Team. Reach them at 250-572-3008/3009 or the Information Kiosk at 250-572-3017. Email Follow on Facebook, Instagram (Downtownkamloops) and Twitter (@downtownkamloops).

About Mel Rothenburger (6018 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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