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San Diego County park officials tell hikers no dogs on trails during high heat

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Posted at 1:36 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 16:36:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - County park officials are telling hikers to not bring their dogs on trails during hot weather.

10News was at Cowles Mountain at Mission Trails Regional Park where a sign was posted for all hikers to see:

DO NOT BRING DOGS ON TRAIL DURING HOT WEATHER - Heat stroke warning

There have been many dog deaths on trails

Dogs can die quickly from heat stroke due to exertion & exposure

Take short hikes during cool hours only morning or evening

Violators may be citied Animal Cruelty CPC 597(b)

If you see an animal or person in distress: Mission Trails rangers 619-668-3281

As reported by County News Center, here is why you should not take your dog on a hike in extreme heat:

"Dogs get dehydrated faster and are much more susceptible to heatstroke than humans. Dogs with short snouts like bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers can have a difficult time catching their breath in hot temperatures. High heats puts too much stress on puppies and older dogs plus those with weight problems. They should also stay home.

Dogs’ main sweat glands are on their feet and panting is their way of getting rid of heat. Sometimes the two aren’t enough to fight against the heat. In addition, their paws can burn on hot asphalt or hot, rocky terrain. If the ground is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. If the temperature inside your house is cooler than outside, keep your dog indoors."

Experts recommend:

-- Exercise in the early morning and return before midday.
-- Consider your dog’s fitness level. Match the trail with his endurance in mind.
-- Take more water than you think you’ll need and a water bowl.
-- Take plenty of breaks, preferably in the shade.
-- Check your dog’s paws regularly to make sure they’re not getting burned.
-- Watch for signs of dehydration or heatstroke. They can include excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, weakness or bright red gums, refusal to walk further, collapse, shaking, shock and seizures. If your dog suffers any of these symptoms, stop, preferably in the shade, and offer water. Try to cool your dog off by pouring water over them and then take your pet to the nearest vet.

Never leave your dog in the car during summer-like temperatures. On an 85-degree day, a car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes and soar upward to 120 degrees –even with the windows down an inch or two. Dogs can suffer brain damage, heatstroke and death.