Hot dogs: PETA warns about dangers of leaving pets in summer heat

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — or PETA — is reminding pet owners to be conscious of summer heating risks for their dogs.

According to the organization, there have been at least 71 reported hot weather-related animal deaths since last year.

The organization is offering several tips to keep dogs safe in extremely hot weather:

  • Keep animals indoors. Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle. Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes — even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside the car.
  • Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, causing pain, burns, and permanent damage to dogs’ paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day. Never run with dogs in hot weather — they’ll collapse before giving up, at which point, it may be too late to save them.

To keep up with heat and weather conditions throughout the summer, visit or download the KXAN Weather app.

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