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It’s getting warmer outside… Here’s how to protect your dog from the heat

May 13, 2021, 4:13 PM

break car window dog...

Salt Lake County Animal Services says a dog died Tuesday after being left in a hot car. (Salt Lake County Animal Services)

(Salt Lake County Animal Services)

Utah is inching toward the summer season. The heat will soon be beating down upon us, making it a tad miserable at times — especially for your dog.

On average, Salt Lake County Animal Control officers respond to more than 500 calls a year regarding dogs in weather distress. In an effort to combat the problem, Salt Lake County Animal Services is offering tips and encouraging pet owners to keep their furry friends at home when running errands in order to protect them from the heat.

Tip #1: No dogs in hot cars 

When temperatures hit 70 degrees, dogs can start feeling the heat. Within ten minutes, temperatures in a car can reach above  116 degrees, causing a potentially deadly situation for dogs left in vehicles. Even on a cooler 75-degree day with the windows cracked open, pups can still suffer from heatstroke, irreparable brain damage, or even death.

A tip for those who spot a doggo in a car on a hot day: don’t break the window to rescue the dog — you could be liable for damages. Instead, if you see a pet excessively panting, non-responsive, drooling, or listless, call Salt Lake County Animal Service’s Dispatch number immediately at 801-840-4000. Additionally, take a photo of the pet, the license plate, and hand over that information to animal control officers. 

Tip #2: The heat while hiking may be dangerous for the dog 

Utah’s desert scenery is gorgeous and can pose a threat to your pet. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying Utah’s beautiful outdoors with your best pup, but make sure to carry enough water when exploring for the both of you. Animal Services also recommends not taking the dog out on a hike on hot days. Without the proper hydration, doggos can overheat, collapse, and possibly die.

Additionally, sandy, sun-exposed trails can burn a dog’s little paws. 

Tip #3: Too hot for you, too hot for the dog 

All pups like a nice stroll around the neighborhood. However, the walk will be unbearable if the sidewalk is too toasty. If you’re unsure if the pavement is too hot, place the back of your hand on the ground. If you cannot leave it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk. 

In the summer, you may need to adjust your dog walking schedule to early morning or later at night to avoid hurting their precious paws. 

As for the balcony, leaving a dog outside, even with a bowl of water, isn’t enough to protect them from the heat. Dogs are prone to attempt escape and could injure themselves in the process. If left outside for too long, the dog could experience the same symptoms as being left in a scorching car. 

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It’s getting warmer outside… Here’s how to protect your dog from the heat