The Dog Days of Summer

Seems this year summer came early and got very hot very quickly. For most of us this is what we have been waiting for. Chuck off those bulky winter coats, grab the flip flops and take your dog for a nice walk. Hold Up! walks can be very distressing and harmful for dogs in hot weather. By following this simple tip it can save your dog paws and you some serious vet bills. Want to know if it’s too hot to walk your dog? All you have to do is become your dog! Huh? What? That’s right, take off your shoes and go stand on the pavement. If after a few seconds you are already doing a jig because your feet are burning then it is too hot for your dogs paws.Since a dogs paw is as sensitive as your feet maybe consider giving both of you a break and go to a nice grassy area for your walk . Did you know the pads on a dog paw can burn in as little as 60 seconds? That’s a scary thought. If  it is a balmy 77 degrees Fahrenheit outside then the pavement could be up to 125 degrees! It goes up from there on in and let’s not forget to factor in the humidity.

Along with burning of the pads, walks in high temperature can quickly cause heat stress, exhaustion, cardiac arrest and even death. Dogs do not sweat out excess body heat like us. Look for these common signs when you are walking your dog in hot weather. Are they not being responsive to your commands? What about their gums or tongue? Are they bright red or blue? Both are sure signs of heat exhaustion. If you see any of these signs and have the avails,  taking your dog for a dip in the river, lake, stream or ocean will quickly cool your dog off. You can also place cool wet cloths on their neck, armpit or between their hind legs. If serious enough immediate Veterinary attention may be in order.

If possible try and plan your walks for early in the morning or later in the evening when it has cooled off. Limit outdoor activity in hot weather and always bring plenty of water with you. You might also want to consider a cooling vest.

Our last tip and this goes out every summer but it needs repeating. Keeping your dog in a hot car for even a few minutes unattended can be catastrophic. We suggest you leave your dog at home. Please never leave your dog alone in a car on a hot day.

Have a great summer and keep your dog safe.