We have all been waiting for the warm weather. It’s finally here! Your pups also love being out in the warm weather. But beware. There are precautions that you need to take to protect your pup from the warm weather. Dogs can suffer the dangers of the heat just as we can. Many owners decide to shave off their pup’s fur thinking this will keep them cool. Vets will usually advise against this. The fur actually will help keep your pup cool. Although the fur will insulate them from the heat for a while, eventually the heat in the fur works its way in to the skin in the sun risking heat stroke.
If you’re taking them on walks, check concrete or asphalt by standing on it with your bare feet. Can you walk on it for a period without scorching your feet, then it’s probably safe for your pup. To be safe, you can use an infrared thermometer held about one foot above ground to measure the heat on the ground. On 95 degree days, black pavement temperatures hit 140 degrees, 135 degrees on red brick, and 125 degress on concrete. Temperature limits for paws are similar to human skin. Initial pain threshold without permanent damage on paws is 120 degrees. At 140 degrees, it will cause burning and permanent damage including scarring after one minute of contact. Instant burn and blistering will result at 150 degrees (160 degrees for human skin). I have seen pups with scorched paws. The outer layer of the pads will burn right off leaving them raw and exposed for infections; not to mention it is very painful. If the ground is hot please put booties on him.
If they will be outdoors for an extended period of time, please leave them enough of water for them. One suggestion would be to leave several bowls of water. You can freeze a couple so that they stay cool and ready to drink when they are finished with the first couple of bowls. Place the water in an area where ants won’t get to it. A shady area would be preferred.
Do not leave your pet outdoors if there isn’t a shady spot in the yard for them to shield themselves from the sun. Although my two have a doggie door to go in and out, they do enjoy laying outside in the warm weather. I leave two 9’ umbrellas open for them to also lay in the shade. They move back and forth between the sunny areas and the shade. A dog house can shield them from the sun but the air gets real hot inside. Maybe leave a small solar fan to produce a breeze. Another option is to put a cooling mat in the dog house or in the shade outdoors.
If you pup enjoys water, you can leave a small children’s pool in a shady spot. Some dogs enjoy cooling themselves off by laying in the pool. If you have sprinklers on a timer, set them to go off for a short period a couple of times of day. This will cool the grass off and give you pup a cool place to lay for a bit. Don’t forget to treat you pup or your yard for ticks, mosquitos, and any other bug that can be a problem. I also keep flowers in my backyard to a minimum so that they don’t chase bees and get stung. I had a GSD whose head swelled up into a balloon. It was scary at them time because we didn’t know if the swelling would affect his breathing. All my flowers are in the front yard for the bees and neighbors to enjoy.
Please be careful about leaving your pets in a parked car. When the temps are 70 degrees outside, the car can heat up to 89 in only 10 minutes and to 104 in 30 minutes. At 80 degrees outside, the car can heat up to 99 in 10 minutes and 114 in 30 minutes. Temperature of 95 outside heats up the car to 114 in 10 minutes and 129 in 30 minutes. Cold winter days can be just as dangerous for your pet. It’s best to leave your pet home when you’re running errands and can’t bring your pet in stores with you.
Have a happy and safe summer.