It's not known as “Sunny St. George” for nothing and as nice as it can be, those rays of sunshine can actually be quite deadly for your pet.  

As Southern Utah heads into April, the temperatures are rapidly heating up. Dog owners know that some of the paved trails are fine to walk “bare-paw” in the wintertime but can cause serious burns in June and July. So, it’s time for pet owners in the area to begin thinking about switching gears to heat safety thinking.  

One common issue that’s seen every year is people finding dogs left in hot cars while their owners go into a store. Now, if you’ve left water out, have the air conditioning going, and are making a super quick stop, that might be okay. 

But cars can get insanely hot, and your dog can suffer from heat stroke and even die in some instances.  

Heatstroke is not just an issue when pets are left in the car. Some owners choose to have their dogs outside while at work and that’s all fine and well, as long as the proper heatstroke-preventative actions are taken.  

The Humane Society of the U.S. says that your pooch needs access to cold water and recommends adding ice cubes in during a heat wave. There should also be shade but don’t go out and buy a doghouse if your dog stays outside. The shade needs to not obstruct airflow like a doghouse would so trees or even tarps are a good idea.  

Though no one is better at begging for playtime and convincing you to play ball, pets can overheat when playing a little too hard in the sun. So, limit playtime and try to walk or play with your dog in the cooler hours like early mornings or later at night. 

Whenever you’re outside with your pet make sure to have water on hand.  

Here are signs of heatstroke: 

  • Heavy panting 
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Glazed eyes 
  • Fever 
  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting 
  • Intense slobbering 
  • Deep red or purple tongue 
  • Clumsiness 
  • Unconsciousness 

Older and younger dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke and also if they are overweight. That’s right, your god needs that summer bod too! 

If your dog is suffering from heatstroke immediately move them to a cool area and apply icepacks or cool rags to their head, neck, and chest. Make sure the water is just cool and not cold. Let your animal take small sips of water or lick an ice cube then take them to your vet.  

Another thing to keep in mind is that power outages can happen during excessive heat and that means your A/C won’t be available. Have a safety plan in place to make sure your pets stay healthy and away from the heat.  


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