Summer can be a great time to exercise with your dog! However, summer heat (especially in warmer areas) can provide unique challenges to daily walks. It is important for dog owners to know the various dangers of summer heat, as well as the various precautions they can make. This will ensure safe and exciting summer walks with your beloved furry friend!
Dogs regulate body temperature through panting and releasing heat through the nose and paw pads. Unlike humans, they cannot sweat through their skin. As a result, dogs are at higher risk of heat stroke than humans. Certain dogs, such as flat-faced, younger, and obese dogs, are at higher risk of contracting heat stroke. For these dogs, temperatures as low as 70°F can be dangerous.
Heat stroke can look a few different ways, but it often follows a similar pattern. Panting is normal, but excessive panting may suggest difficulty breathing. Check their mouth for thick saliva or pale gums. Dogs with heat stroke may also experience disorientation or, in severe cases, vomiting and/or diarrhea. They will often appear weak or fatigued with a chance of collapsing.
If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, you must react quickly. Provide immediate access to drinking water. If possible, give your dog a cool bath. Do not use ice or very cold water; this can make your dog go into shock. Contact your vet, especially if your dog is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.
Hot weather can increase pavement temperature severely. As a result, pad burn is very common among dogs during the summer. Pad burn is characterized by discolored or blistered paws. Dogs with burned pads may limp or refuse to walk.
Pad burn is avoidable; you can check the pavement’s temperature with the palm of your hand or base of your foot. If you can’t hold your bare skin to the pavement for more than thirty seconds, it is too hot for your pup.
If your dog experiences pad burn, immediately remove them from the hot sidewalk or asphalt. Keep them in a cool (preferably grassy) area to cool down their paws. Monitor your dog’s pads and behavior; licking paws may lead to infection. Seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
At Claws N Paws Day Spa, your dog or cat can find professional grooming services from a passionate, dedicated staff. Right next door, your cat will love our cats-only boarding facility. Claws N Paws is currently open with provisions in place to protect our clients and staff from COVID-19. For more information or to set up an appointment, contact us at 714-962-1005.