SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – As temperatures rise this week, animal experts say it’s time to start reminding dog owners about hot weather safety.
Veterinarians typically see an increase in dogs brought in for burns or heat stroke during the summer months. They said one of the most dangerous things a dog owner can do is leave them behind in a hot car.
“Even with the windows down, those temperatures in the car can soar to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more within minutes,” said Dr. Courtney Howard with Banfield Pet Hospital. “These conditions can be fatal to a pet within 10 minutes.”
Pets at risk for heat stroke could show exaggerated panting, rapid heartbeat, high fever, vomiting, staring, anxious expression, and warm, dry skin.
Dogs with short snouts, such as Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs, and Boxers are especially sensitive to the effects of heat and cannot cool themselves effectively.
Dr. Howard said another concern is walking or hiking with dogs when the pavement is too hot, especially on asphalt.
“Although the pads on a dog’s feet provide more protection than the skin on our feet do, they are not nearly as protective as the shoes we wear. Dogs can develop significant burns on their feet from hot pavement,” she said. “We see this frequently with dogs who run on pavement due partially to the friction that also causes damage to their burnt paws.”
Experts said black top is more dangerous than white concrete. But if the weather is hot enough, anything other than soil or grass could be dangerous. Dr. Howard said a good way to test out the pavement is to put your bare hand on the ground. If you can’t leave it there longer than 10 seconds, Dr. Howard said it’s too hot for your dogs to walk on. Booties can help if your dog will tolerate them.
“Try to avoid hiking or those long walks during the hotter hours of the day. Shoot for early morning or evening when the sun’s going down,” she said.
If you have to leave your dog outside when you’re not home, make sure they have access to shaded areas and access to plenty of fresh drinking water. Happy to do that for you.