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The Dangers Of Walking Your Pet Outside In The Summer Heat

A woman with a St. Bernard outside

Summer heat can create health issues for your four-legged friend. During summer, it’s vital to protect your dog from the heat while taking them out for exercise.

While your dog enjoys being outdoors, the warm weather and hot road surfaces can cause heatstroke and burned paws before your pet begins to show any sign of pain or discomfort. That’s why you need to ensure that you check weather conditions before you step out.

In Florida, asphalt road surfaces can reach a temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. At this temperature, it takes just five minutes to fry an egg. Your pet can experience tissue damage within a few minutes if you go out at these times without taking precautions.

How To Know If It’s Too Hot To Walk A Dog Outside

Here are some tips to tell if it’s too hot for dogs before you step out.

Test The Road Temperature

The weather may seem to be cool, but that doesn’t mean the ground won’t be hot enough to hurt your dog. Remember that the ground surface absorbs heat from morning until evening, so while the atmospheric temperature is 77 degrees, the asphalt could easily be as hot as 125 degrees.

Place the back of your hand on the asphalt. If you find it challenging to keep it on for more than a few minutes, your dog’s paws could get hurt.

Check The Humidity

Humidity determines how comfortable your dog will feel in the hot weather. Usually, your pet will pant to cause moisture to evaporate through their lungs. If the humidity is too high, however, they won’t be able to cool their bodies fast enough, and their body temperature could rapidly rise to dangerous levels.

This is particularly true of species like boxers and pugs. These dogs find it challenging to pant and expel heat, so you should avoid taking them out in the middle of the day.

How Do You Protect Dog Paws From Heat?

Many pet owners feel that their dog’s paws are tough enough to walk on any surface. While pads do provide insulation, walking on asphalt that has reached 125 degrees can lead to burns, blisters and lacerations. So, if you place your bare feet on the road and start feeling uncomfortable after 10 seconds, your dog will also experience pain and discomfort.

Tips For Walking Your Dog In The Summer

During the summer, the weather and road surfaces become extremely hot, but it’s still best to take your dog out for exercise. These tips will help you keep your dog fit without overheating and burning them.

Choose Your Exercise Time Carefully

Avoid walking during the day. Take your pet out for exercise before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. when the weather and ground surface are cool.

Let The Dog Walk On The Grass.

While the asphalt temperature rises rapidly to the mid 100s, the grass temperature is usually much lower and more tolerable for your dog.

Watch For Signs Of Overheating

If your dog has a lot of body fat or fur, you need to be observant and watch for indications of overheating such as:

  • Panting and subsequent noisy breathing
  • Blue or bright red gums
  • Convulsing or collapsing
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

Contact University Animal Clinic To Keep Your Pet Healthy All Year

Contact University Animal Clinic at 941-355-7707 today or book your appointment online to give your furry friend the best quality vet care. We treat dogs, cats and many exotic pets. Bring your pet to our AAHA accredited vet clinic to enjoy our special wellness plans that reduce the cost of keeping your pet healthy.