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Dogs can't stand the heat; keep them safe this summer

Posted at 1:29 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 15:29:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Temperatures are rising soon, so Salt Lake County Animal Services is reminding people that keeping pets safe in the heat will prevent tragic accidents.

On a 70 degree day, the temperature in the car can soar to 116 degrees in as little as 10 minutes.

Animal Control Officers respond to over 500 calls about dogs kept in sweltering car temperatures annually, with over 100 such calls already this year.

Because dogs can’t release heat from sweating, their internal body temperature rise quickly and cause heat stroke, which can be deadly.

Senior dogs, puppies, and those with flatter faces, suffer even more in hot weather.

Here's what to do if a dog is spotted in a hot car:

  1. If a pet inside a vehicle excessively panting, non-responsive, drooling, or listless, call 911.
  2. Take a photo of the pet, the license plate, and give that information to Animal Control Officers. 
  3. Ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately.

What not to do:

  1. Never break a window of a vehicle on your own to pull out a pet, you could be liable for damages.
  2. Don’t just leave the A/C on. It’s best to leave your pet at home where they can lounge in a comfy, cool place, with plenty of water.

Signs of pet heatstroke include excessive panting, a rapid or erratic pulse, muscle tremors, convulsing, and vomiting.

Pets with these signs should be moved to a cool, shady place, cooled down with water in a tub or stream, fanned to reduce the animal's core temperature, and taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Don't forget to take water for animals on hikes, and make sure to avoid trails with hot sand that can burn an animal's paws.

If the pavement feels too hot to the touch after five seconds, it's too hot for dogs.

And while balconies seem like a safe spot, they too can become overheated quickly.

When in doubt, leave your dog at home to steal the couch and have access to long drinks of water.