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How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Overheating This Summer?

Animal Legal Defense Fund
Chester the dog sits in a potentially dangerous hot car.


A Salt Lake City man may be facing charges after a dog he left in his car died as a result of the heat. Salt Lake County Animal Services responded Saturday to reports of an unresponsive 1-year-old yellow lab trapped in a car. The dog was taken to the Utah Veterinary Clinic, where it was pronounced dead. The case is still under investigation.

Click to hear more from Callista Pearson about how you can prevent your furry friend from overheating this summer.

Animal Services spokeswoman Callista Pearson said in 90-degree heat, even with a window cracked, dogs can easily get heat stroke and die from being trapped in a car under the sweltering sun.

“I would suggest to not leave their dog in the car once it is hotter than 70 degrees,” she said. “It can quickly escalate to over 100 degrees in the car within 10 to 20 minutes.”

If dogs are exposed to high temperatures, Pearson said owners should take measures to prevent them from overheating by placing cool, wet towels on their stomach, ears and paws and offering them cold water.


“Immediately take them to a veterinarian if their tongues turn purple or bright red, or they are vomiting or staggering,” she said.

Pearson said dogs can also overheat while they are at festivals or parades.

“If it's too hot for you to hold your hand on the back of the paved trail for five seconds, it's too hot for their paws, which can cause their paws to get burned,” she said.

During 2015, Pearson said the Salt Lake County Animal Services received about 670 calls regarding dogs trapped in hot cars last year and two of those dogs died.