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Two Dogs Die After Exposure To High Temps For Too Long

AMERICAN FORK, Utah – Animal advocates have reminded pet owners to be careful with their dogs when they’re outside in the sweltering heat, after two dogs died after becoming overcome by extreme temperatures.

The dogs died Monday in Utah County.

Temperatures over the last few days and weeks have hovered near 100 degrees.

“Unless you have substantial shade and cold water for them, I wouldn’t recommend leaving your dog outside unattended for more than 15-20 minutes at the most (when the temperature is over 90 degrees),” said Callista Pearson, a spokesperson with Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Pearson said that much time outside may even be too much, depending on the age and breed of the dog.

Teams at the Utah Veterinary Hospital in American Fork said the two dogs died in separate heat-related incidents.

One of those dogs, left outside 30 minutes, died from heat stroke. The other dog died after 20 to 30 minutes in an unventilated camper.

“I would not leave your dog in a car at all, right now. It’s too hot,” said Pearson. “Within five to six minutes, your car can reach over 100 degrees.”

KSL checked the temperature inside an animal control officer’s patrol car with a laser thermometer Tuesday. It registered 141 degrees before noon.

“If you see a dog in distress in a car, do not break the window yourself,” said Pearson. “Call animal control. Call 911, and they will take it into their hands.”

In June alone, Salt Lake County animal control officers responded to 120 calls for dogs left in hot cars.

“If it’s too hot for me, it’s too hot for them,” said Jared Denslow, who was at the shelter Tuesday with his kids, adopting a puppy. “If they are outside, make sure there’s plenty of water out there because dehydration does happen.”

Many days in the summer in Utah, it’s also too hot to walk your dog on the pavement during the day. The pavement temperature registered 120 degrees around noon Tuesday.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but it burns their paws,” said Denslow.

Trails without shade can be just as hot. The pavement and trails are much cooler early in the morning, or late at night.

“Put the back of your hand down on the ground,” said Pearson.  “If you can’t hold your hand down there for five seconds, then it is too hot for your dog’s paws.”

Unless you have substantial shelter, shade and cold water, dogs should be indoors in this heat, she said.

“You know your dog, and you should really watch them,” said Pearson. “If you see your dog is out there heavily panting and is lethargic, I would bring them inside, cool them off and maybe take them to the vet just in case.”

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