When the weather gets hot, people can hurt their pets without even realizing it.
Experts at Arizona’s Pima Animal Care Center have said they see as many as 15 cases a day of animal abuse and neglect related to heat during the summer months. It’s apparently easier to endanger a dog than you may think.
“Just the other day, we had someone come in to get a license, and they left their dog in the back of their car when it was over 100 degrees,” said Pima Animal Care Center Director Kristen Auerbach. “And they felt terrible. Their dog went into heat distress, we gave it prompt medical care … but she wasn’t even aware that the dog was in distress”
Dogs have an especially tough time coping with heat. They can only shed heat through their tongues and the pads on their feet. When we measured the temperature of the ground in different areas, we had no trouble finding pavement that was sweltering at around 150 degrees. And in case you wondered, light-colored pavement was not really any cooler than dark-colored pavement.
How Can You Keep Your Pup Cool?
If you take your dog on many walks on paved surfaces during the summer, booties are recommended to help prevent burns. However, because they enclose the dogs feet, they can reduce your pet’s already limited ability to shed body heat.
And booties or no booties, the dog’s core is still pretty close to the hot pavement, depending on how tall they are.
Sometimes people will leave their dog in the yard in the morning, thinking the animal will have plenty of shade throughout the day, but they often fail to account for the way the sun’s angle will change as the day goes on. So, a dog that might have plenty of shade in the early morning could have little or no shade as it gets closer to afternoon.
If you must keep your dog outside during the day, that’s where a dog house or other shelter could come in handy. Always keep a large bowl of fresh water available for them, as well.
Pet experts say if you touch the pavement and it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. It’s best to take most of your walks in the cooler part of the morning or evening.
Written by Craig Smith for KGUN.
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