Hot Summer Days
During the warm summer months, the weather heats up quickly. When it is hot outside in the peak hours of the days, it is not the right time to take your dog out.
Should you Walk a Dog in the Heat?
You should not plan to take your dog out in the heat. Rising temperatures can be very dangerous for your dog. We have created a chart to show safe temperatures when letting your dog outside.
- Try and get your dog out in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is cooler. The peak times of the day in the summer months have spikes in temperature that can be not only unbearable for your dog but unsafe for them.
- Plan to do some indoor enrichment or exercise activites. By keeping them mentally and physically stimualted, it can allow an outlet for all of the built up energy being inside can cause. We have an Indoor Enrichment Blog Post, with ideas on fun indoor enrichment for the house.
- If your dog does need to go outside for any reason, such as potty breaks, make sure to limit their time and have plenty of water available. Find a shaded area if available, and in the hottest portions of the day, keep this time very short.
Use the Pavement Test
Check the pavement for temperature by using your own hand. The back of your hand can closely feel if the pavement is going to be too hot for your dog’s paws. The “Pavement Test” is taking the back of your hand to where you were planning on walking and holding it there for seven seconds.
If the pavement is too hot and unbearable to hold your own hand on, it most certainly is too hot to have your dog’s feet on!
Watch for Signs of Paw Burn and Heat Stroke
When the pavement is too hot to walk on, it can actually burn the bottom of your dog’s feet. Pups sweat through their pads which when they heat up too quickly can burn, to a severe level. You can watch for signs that a dog’s feet pads may be burning by paying close attention to their behavior. Watch for things like:
- Excessive paw licking
- Yelping/vocalizing when walking
- Paws are red or bleeding
- Holding the paws up or “dancing” around to avoid stepping down
These can all be signs that your dog is very uncomfortable and in potential danger of burning or injuring themselves.
We have a blog post written by our Clinic Manager on Summer Safety for Dogs, which includes tips on how to spot heatstroke, and outlines the steps to take if you do think your pet might be overheating.