August 22, 2017
Boulder, Colo. — Temperatures across the country have soared this summer, and 41 dogs and 33 children have already died of weather-related causes. Now, Olympic silver medalist and long-distance runner Kara Goucher is teaming up with PETA for a new video with her adopted pup Freya to remind others that exercising with your dog in the heat can be deadly. She points out that unlike humans, dogs can cool themselves only by sweating through their paw pads and by panting, which makes it more difficult for them to beat the heat.
“Dogs will try to do what it takes to keep up with you,” Goucher says. “[D]espite the fact that they’re covered in fur, they’ll try to … soldier through until they collapse.”
The star recommends avoiding taking your dog out during the warmest parts of the day, limiting direct sun exposure, and taking frequent breaks. “[E]xercise with your dogs in the cool morning or nighttime temperatures—never in the direct sun,” she adds. “And always bring water for them. And if you’re a long-distance runner, go the distance with a human buddy and leave your dog safe at home.”
PETA notes that symptoms of heatstroke include restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite or coordination. If your dog shows signs of heatstroke, get to a veterinarian immediately—even a few minutes’ delay could be fatal. The group also warns that on a hot day, pavement can heat up to between 130 and 180 degrees—hot enough to hurt a dog’s feet and even seriously burn them. If the pavement is hot to the touch, it’s too hot for Spot.
Goucher is part of a long list of athletes and celebrities—including Amanda Beard, Candace Parker, Christen Press, Nick Symmonds, and Hannah Teter—who’ve teamed up with PETA to promote its motto, which reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse.”
For more information, please visit PETA.org.