A dog who suffered heatstroke while accompanying his owner on a hike in California during the weekend triggered an urgent rescue mission and a warning to pet owners to think twice about exercising their animals in hot weather.
The mastiff named Joey collapsed and began panting heavily half a mile down the Three Sisters Falls trail in Descanso on Saturday, the San Diego Humane Society said in a news release.
An SDHS emergency team responded and rushed the dog to Animal Urgent Care in Escondido, where he was treated for heat exhaustion and separating paw pads.
While Joey responded well to the treatment and was able to return home with his owner, the SDHS urged pet owners to leave their animals home during spells of hot weather. The temperature Saturday in the area neared 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
"Dogs don’t have the ability to say, 'I’m thirsty' or 'I’m tired.' They are all in. Everything about their personality and energy level is we’re going to keep going, going, going, and by the time they are dehydrated, it’s too late,” Lt. John Peaveler of the SDHS told FOX5 San Diego.
Since dogs are closer to the ground than humans, they absorb heat from above and below, the SDHS said. Their paw pads are also at risk of getting burned because the ground is often hotter than the air.
The SDHS said pet owners shouldn’t exercise animals when temperatures exceed 70 degrees and should always ensure pets get plenty of fresh water and shade.