GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– The recent heatwave in Colorado has pet owners on alert. High temperatures are being blamed for killing and sickening dogs across the state in the past few days.
“Our bodies dissipate heat much differently than dogs do and a lot of folks don’t understand that their dogs are not going to do as well in these extreme temperatures as they are on their hikes,” said Jefferson County Open Space spokeswoman Mary Ann Bonnell.
Two dogs have died and one has suffered from overheating so far this summer in Jefferson County Open Spaces.
Usually dog owners don’t notice there is something wrong with their dog until they are already really sick.
“There is a dog in distress. Usually what that looks like is the dog has actually started stumbling, vomiting, maybe even collapsing,” said Bonnell.
If there isn’t a lake or stream near the trail you’re planning to hike, there are ways to stay prepared.
“One of these easy-to-carry, very lightweight, collapsible dog bowls. Anytime you want on the trail when you stop for a water break the dog also gets to have a water break,” said Bonnell.
Another tip from Bonnell, carry cloth and water with you, “You can wet the bandana and then you can actually put the bandana, tap it on the dog’s paws, on their ears and groin and armpits.”
Heavy panting, thick saliva and trouble walking are all signs that your dog is in trouble.
Open Space parks have posted warning signs along trails to educate hikers about keeping their dogs safe.
Bonnell said the safest practice is to walk dogs in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.