AUSTIN (KXAN) – So far, June has brought us record-breaking heat and lengthy streaks of triple-digit high temperatures. Temperatures like this pose immense threats to dogs. Knowing the dangers of this heat and what choices you can make to prevent it from harming your pet will be vital as this hot summer gets hotter.
Hot air temperatures, like the ones we have been experiencing, give rise to even hotter ground temperatures. As the summer sun beams down, the surface absorbs and retains significant amounts of heat. To put things into perspective, when air temperatures reach 95°, grass can reach 105°, concrete gets as hot as 125°, and asphalt temperatures climb to a scorching 140°. Bare paws on grounds this hot can easily blister. It takes less than five minutes for your dog’s paws to burn on concrete. On asphalt, it can happen in as little as one minute.
To prevent paw burns, avoid taking your dog on walks during the heat of the day. Schedule walks for the early morning before it heats up or in the late evening after the ground has had time to cool off. However, if a mid-day walk is unavoidable, taking a grassy, shaded route would minimize the amount of heat your pet’s paws would have to take. Additionally, a fashionable pair of dog boots would add a significant layer of protection. A great way to test the ground is to lay your hand on the concrete and hold it for a few seconds. If it is too hot for that short amount of time, it is much too hot for your dog to walk on.
Along with burns, dogs, like people, are at risk of heat stress. Always be sure to keep an eye out for the signs of overheating, including labored breathing, excessive drooling, and changes to their tongue color.
As the summer rolls on, be mindful about taking your dog outside. Every time you spend time in the heat, bring extra water and a bowl for them to prevent dehydration, be on the lookout for the symptoms of overheating, and don’t push your dog past their limits. Taking these steps will go a long way in keeping your pet safe this summer!