Leash? Check. Water? Check. Snacks? Check. Okay, you and your furry friend are ready to set off on your adventure…Pause! Have you checked the heat index today?
During the summer months, some surfaces can reach unbelievable temperatures. Pavement, cement, asphalt, wood, and even sand can become excruciatingly hot during the summer months here in Florida.
As the sun beats down on these surfaces, they tend to absorb the heat and then end up staying hot for hours, even after dusk.
Check the pavement for heat before taking your dog on a walk. Place the back of your hand, or a bare foot on the surface for 5-10 seconds.
If it is too hot for you to keep your hand or foot on it, then it is too hot for your pet. Surfaces can exceed 145 degrees.
There are some alternatives and safety tips you should keep in mind.
- Stay on grassy surfaces and avoid bare ground.
- Try to avoid the parts of the day when the sun is directly above your head and the hottest parts of the day.
- Walk early in the morning or late in the evening, but remember to check the surfaces even then because these surfaces absorb the heat.
- You can also invest in booties or dog socks to help protect paws from the heat.
One last tip before you start your adventure, after swimming, your dogs paws are more susceptible to hot surfaces. If you see your dog not wanting to walk, or a red or pink color change in the paw pads, or even missing pieces of the pads, be sure to call your veterinarian right away!
Leash? Check. Water? Check. Snacks? Check. Ground temperature? Check. Okay, you and your furry friend are now safely ready to set off on your adventure.
Jacqueline McKinnon is a veterinary professional at Mobile Vet to Pet. The practice provides house calls for pet owners in Lake County. For more information about the subject above or to learn more about Mobile Vet to Pet, call 352-978-0494 or go to myvet2pet.net.