Hot dogs prompt SPCA warning

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 15:30 17/01/2014
Hot dog
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
HOT DOGS: SPCA Canterbury is warning pet owners not to leave their dogs in vehicles on hot days.

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Christchurch dog owners are risking their pets' lives by leaving them in sweltering-hot cars.

SPCA Canterbury chief executive Barry Helem said inspectors were alerted to six dogs left in separate cars yesterday.

In all cases car windows were left down a fraction, but the dogs were left without water.

Helem said dog owners may have become complacent due to the ''unusually wet'' summer, but temperatures remained high.

A spokesman for MetService said Christchurch hit 32 degrees Celsius yesterday and temperatures of 18C had been recorded at Christchurch Airport today.

Helem said cars heated up extremely very quickly, regardless of whether they were in the shade or not.

On a 30 degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle could reach 39C in 10 minutes. In 30 minutes, they could reach 49C.

''A dog's normal body temperature is around 38.5 degrees. Dogs only sweat a very small amount through their paws, and rely on panting to cool down," he said.

"A dog can withstand a body temperature of 41 degrees for only a very short time, before suffering irreparable brain damage and death.''

The SPCA prosecuted an owner for a dog that died in a hot car in 2011.

 

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