The Simple Way for Knowing When It’s Too Hot For Your Dog
With such unprecedented hot weather this summer, following are a few simple guidelines to keep your dog safe.
When Is It Too Hot to Take Your Dog In the Car?
When it comes to deciding whether to leave your dog in a hot car, the rule couldn’t be simpler: do not do it—even for a few minutes, even on a mild day.
The Simple Way for Knowing When It’s Too Hot to Walk Your Dog
The Five Second Rule: Place the back of your hand on the sidewalk, pavement, or whatever outdoor surface your dog would walk on. If it’s too hot to comfortably keep your hand there for five seconds, keep your dog’s paws off it. As you may already know from walking barefoot on sand or asphalt, surfaces can be much hotter than the surrounding air: asphalt on a 77°F day may reach a blistering 125°F! Use the 5-second rule before walking your dog in breezy, temperate weather too.
It’s also important to keep your dog cool during your stroll. Try sticking to shady areas or finding a path along a lake or creek so your pet can splash around in the water. Carry fresh water with you and give your dog plenty of drink breaks. And whenever possible, try walking early or late in the day, when the heat is less intense.
Be sure to monitor your dog for signs of heatstroke. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have sweat glands all over their bodies and their main way to cool off is by panting. If you notice your dog panting heavily—or generally acting lethargic or fatigued—relocate to an air-conditioned spot right away. Heatstroke can quickly become fatal for dogs, so you don’t want to ignore the early signs.
If it’s too sweltering to walk your dog outdoors, they can still get exercise indoors. Try playing hide-and-seek around the house or running up and down the stairs with them (you can toss a ball to the top, if you can’t or don’t want to run the stairs yourself), or start a game of tug-of-war.
Stay cool everyone!