Think Twice Before Taking Your Dog on Hike in Blistering Heat: Dogs Are Dying From Heat Exhaustion

Dogs can succumb to heat stroke in less than 15 minutes.

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Three days a week, Eva Larson goes for a three-mile run near her Thousand Oaks home.

She takes along Amelia and Lady each time.

So she gets up early to avoid the heat, usually around 6:15.

Dogs are dying from possible heat exhaustion this summer.

Ana Beatriz-Cholo, a spokeswoman with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, issued a warning as SoCal is set to head into another desperately hot weekend ahead.

Think twice before taking your dog on that hike with you, she says.

"Dogs can succumb to heat stroke in less than 15 minutes," she said.


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Amber Gereghty, a Thousand Oaks pet owner, is still burdened by what happened to her golden retriever 11 years ago.

"It was horrifying and traumatizing," she said. "She was panting extra fast and extra hard."

Only two years old and healthy, Maggie and her brother, Kobe, were on a hike with Gereghty and her husband.

They'd taken extra water on a lower-90s afternoon.

But then, suddenly, heat exhaustion struck both dogs.

"She went up about another half mile and then absolutely collapsed," she said.

Kobe survived. Maggie did not.

Beatriz-Cholo said a Rhodesian ridgeback died Saturday, the most recent death in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area.

"The dog's heart stopped beating, and it died right there on the trail," she said.

In the Santa Monica Mountains, shade trees are often few and far between but that's what a heat exhausted dog needs the most, next to water.

Watch them closely.

Are they panting excessively?

"We think that's normal, sure," Beatriz-Cholo said. "But maybe if we, kind of, re-think that."

Your dog doesn't know he's sick.

And even if he did, he can't tell you.

Don't put him someplace where he's in that kind of danger.

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