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Keep pets cool, safe on hot summer days, advises Clackamas County Dog Services

Clackamas County Dog Services Supervisor Diana Hallmark and her staff have plenty of experience keeping pets safe on hot days, and know how important it is to keep pets cool through the summer months. 

“Dogs and cats don’t sweat like people do," Hallmark said. "They eliminate heat through their mouth (by panting) and the pads of their feet.  Since they can overheat quickly, it’s important that the people who care for them make sure they can stay out of the heat.”

Parked cars are especially dangerous places to leave animals in the summer, according to Hallmark, even for a short time.  According to the Humane Society of the United States, even with outside temperatures as low as 72 degrees a car's interior temperature can increase an average of 40 degrees within an hour. 

“While some people think they are protecting their pet by leaving car windows open slightly,” Hallmark said, “that is not enough to ensure the temperature stays at a safe level. Leaving a pet in a parked car on a hot day can endanger the animal’s health in as little as 10 minutes.”

Clackamas County Dog Services has additional suggestions for keeping pets from overheating on hot days:

For more information, contact Diana Hallmark, 503-650-3944 or DianaHal@clackamas.us; or shelter supervisor Tamara Moxon, 503-650-3198 or tmoxon@clackamas.us.

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