Most people have seen the videos of celebrities or vets getting into a car on a warm day to showcase the dangers of leaving a pet there, even for a few moments. A sunny 70-degree day can become stifling and dangerous inside a car very quickly, but what about other summertime situations? How do you know when it’s too hot for your normal walk, or how to know if you need to keep your pet in the air conditioning? Our team has put together some safety tips to keep your furry companion cool this summer.
Despite the weather, your dog still needs exercise and is most likely still begging to go on walks. Here are some ways to help your family navigate the summer heat.
Check the sidewalk. To gauge the heat and prevent burned paw pads, place the back of your bare hand on the sidewalk. If it’s too hot to keep it there for seven seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Puppies are even more sensitive, so keep that in mind when socializing.
Avoid the hottest parts of the day. We recommend walking during the cooler, less sunny early morning or evening hours. This will help keep everyone moving without too much heat stress. Plus a shared walk is a great way to start the day or help unwind from work!
If the only time you can squeeze a walk into the day is during the midday sun, you can still help keep your dog safe. Grass and dirt do not get as hot as paved areas, sand, or artificial turf, making these surfaces a great choice. There are paw balms and waxes, which can provide a temporary barrier between the rough hot pavement and your pup’s feet. Boots are a much tougher barrier but can take more time to get your dog used to.
Hanging in the yard
Many pet guardians assume a shady backyard is a safe spot for their pet to spend time during the summer months, but once temperatures reach 85 degrees or higher, dogs (especially larger breeds, brachycephalic breeds, obese dogs, and puppies) can face life-threatening heat-related health complications. The main reason is that animals can’t sweat to cool off like humans can.
As temperatures rise, limit your pet’s time outdoors and as always, make sure they have access to lots of cold, fresh water.
Signs of overheating
If you’re worried your fur baby has gotten too hot, check your cat or dog for any of these signs and contact your vet immediately.
- Rapid panting
- Bright red tongue
- Red or pale white gums
- Thick or sticky saliva
- Depression or weakness
- Dizziness or lack of balance
We hope you and your furry friends are able to enjoy a safe and fun summer! Please contact us if you have any questions.