Hot weather hazards: protecting pets from the heat

Jul 13, 2023, 6:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY -- The excessive heat is posing a danger to more than just people. As Utahns flock t...

FILE: SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall walks her dog in a city park. Protecting pets from the heat is critical as summer temperatures rise. (Spenser Heaps/ Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/ Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — This summer is turning out to be a really hot one! And protecting pets from the heat is just as important as protecting yourself.

The temperature outside may be obvious to us, but to pets, who are wearing one more fur coat than we are, the heat can be extremely harmful.

 “Keep [your pets] inside whenever possible, [this summer heat] is just too much,” said Beth Chynoweth from the Best Friends Animal Society told KSL NewsRadio, “(and) provide shade and water at all times.”

Ways to protect pets from the heat

Pet owners should think about rescheduling their afternoon walk to either earlier in the morning, or later at night Chynoweth said. At those times, the pavement isn’t too hot for paws.

When you do go out in the afternoon, have your pet walk on the grass at a park, stick to shady spots, and carry some cold water in a water bottle for your pet.

According to Chynoweth, if you choose to transport your dog in the car, make sure the air conditioning is on.

And, never leave your pet in the car.

“Even when it’s only 70 degrees, within ten minutes of a pet being in a car, they get heat stroke that fast. You can’t even imagine what would happen in these kind of temperatures that we’re experiencing,” said Chynoweth.

If you come across a pet in a hot car? “Try to find the owner as soon as possible,” Chynoweth said.

Symptoms of pet heat stroke

If you are worried that your pet might be prone to heat stroke, there are a few signs to look out for. “If they’re panting excessively or completely lethargic … diarrhea [also could be a symptom],” Chynoweth said.

Many times there are not any visible symptoms, which makes protecting pets from heat even more critical. If you feel like your pet may be experiencing symptoms of heat stroke, take them to the vet. 


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Hot weather hazards: protecting pets from the heat