Hikes, dogs and the heat
Want to take your dog out for a hike?
Just do it before it gets to be 100 degrees out – that’s the law now in the city of Phoenix.
The city of Phoenix changed what had been an interim policy into a permanent ban and now dogs shouldn’t be on th trails once the temperature is 100 degrees or more. Phoenix is the first city in the country to have laws like this on the books.
New hiking rules for dogs
The new rules cover all city of Phoenix trails; however there are certain Phoenix trails that dogs can’t go on no matter what the weather is.
Under PCC 24-54 (failure to comply), people who hike with their dogs when it is 100 degrees or hotter could be subject to a Class One Misdemeanor that could include a fine of up to $2,500 and six months jail time.
Why do we need such a rule for hikes?
Anyone who hikes in Phoenix knows the answer to this. We’ve all seen dogs on out on trail when it was just too hot for them. It’s one thing for dumb humans to go out when it is too hot but it’s just unconscionable to bring a dog out in the heat like that.
Phoenix veterinarians who practice near popular city hiking trails report they frequently treat hiker dogs who have been overheated. And, vet warn sometimes dogs brought in for heat exhaustion don’t survive the ordeal.
While the city of Phoenix didn’t have any statistics on the numbers of dogs affected by heat in the mountain preserves , the city of Glendale reported in 2011 that three dogs passed away on trails. The only way the city knew about those deaths was because the fire department was called to help the dogs. “For everyone incident reported, we believe there are dozens of animal fatalities that we don’t hear about,’’ said Sue Breding, Glendale spokeswoman.
Heat is dangerous for dogs
Dogs can’t cool off as easily as humans because they don’t sweat like we do.
Dog lovers who want to get some exercise with the dog, should do it early in the morning or in the evening and bring plenty of water. And know the signs of heat distress in your dog.
Let’s stay safe (and legal) out there!