(WWTI) — As the summer weather shows up in the forecast, the American Kennel Club is reminding pet owners of the risks associated with the heat of the season.
According to the AKC, a leading concern during the summer is the hot pavement when owners are walking their pets. The organization warned that if the temperature is 85 degrees or over without the chance for the pavement to cool down, the ground may be too hot to safely walk a dog. The AKC stated that scorching surfaces are especially damaging to puppies with sensitive young paws.
According to data reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association, when the air temperature is 86 degrees, the asphalt temperature registers at 135 degrees. Jerry Klein, DVM, AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer and an expert in veterinary emergency and critical care gave advice on how pet owners can ensure they’re keeping their pets safe.
“To find out if the ground is too hot for your dog to walk on, place your hand comfortably on the pavement for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws,” Klein said.
Klein stated that the same temperature test works on all types of terrain, including sand, metal, and concrete. To also help the condition of the dog’s paws, owners are encouraged to walk their pets on the pavement during cool weather since the hard surface helps toughen them and builds resistance for when the temperature heats up.
The AKC also warned of heat-related issues for dogs like heat stress and heatstroke. The organization stated that a dog’s normal resting temperature ranges from 99 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature over 104 signals heat stress, over 105 registers as heat exhaustion, and more than 106 is heatstroke requiring emergency veterinary care.
Dogs experiencing heat stress may seek shade, limit movement, choose to sit or lie down, pant uncontrollably, experience nausea or vomiting, and their skin may redden or excessively produce saliva. Dogs experiencing heatstroke may seem confused, excessively drool, have bright red or purple gums, seem dizzy, experience rectal bleeding, refuse to drink water, seem lethargic, lose consciousness or have seizures.
To cool a dog down, owners should find a shady spot, apply ice packs under the dog’s front legs at the chest, pour cool water over their head and body, give them water, find air conditions indoors or in a cooled-off car, or give their dog a cooling mat to stand on. More information on how to avoid heat-related issues in dogs this summer can be found here.