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Here are some tips to keep your pet safer in the heat

The "comfortable" temperature is different for every dog, but there are some measures owners can take to protect them in the hot weather.
Credit: demanescale - stock.adobe.com

FLORIDA, USA — With summer rolling in and temperatures starting to rise into the 90s, the American Kennel Club believes it's a good time for a refresher on how to keep your four-legged canines safe in the hot weather.

A key thing to keep in mind is to protect your dog's paws as you go out for a walk or spend time outdoors, especially for younger dogs as the temperature of the road or concrete can cause harm to them.

“Pavement, like asphalt or artificial grass, can become incredibly hot and cause discomfort, blisters, and burn a dog’s paw pads,” said Jerry Klein, an expert in veterinary emergency and critical care. "If the temperature is 85 degrees or over without the chance for the pavement to cool down, the ground may be too hot for safely walking a dog."

If the temperature outdoors is 86 degrees, then the asphalt temperature will be 135 degrees, according to the AKC, citing the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Klein said there's an easy method to check if any pavement is too hot for your dog. 

"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," he said.

Using your bare foot to test the heat of the pavement will also work, according to Klein. 

In serious cases, hot temperatures can sometimes lead to a dog experiencing a heat stroke. 

Ninety-nine to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a normal resting temperature for a dog. When the temp reaches 104 degrees, it may signal heat stress, and over 105 is considered heat exhaustion. Exceeding 106 will cause heatstroke, and emergency veterinary care will be required.

Here are some signs recommended by the American Kennel Club to see if your dog is experiencing heat stress or heat stroke. 

Watch your dog for these signs of heat stress and treat immediately:

  • Seeking shade
  • Limiting movement or restlessness
  • Choosing to sit or lie down
  • Uncontrolled panting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin reddening
  • Excess saliva

Symptoms of heatstroke requiring immediate veterinary attention:

  • Confusion
  • Excessive drooling and thickening of saliva
  • Bright red or blue or purple gums
  • Dizziness
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Refusing to drink water
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizure

The American Kennel Club advised dog owners who need to walk their dogs during the hot weather to avoid the hottest time of the day by walking their pet in the morning or evening in grassy or shady areas.

To learn more, click here.

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