July is coming up quick and in the South, that means one major thing: the heat is just beginning. Summer is a great time to get outdoors and be active with your pup, but it is also extremely important to remember precautions for having your furry friend outside in the heat for too long.
Many people believe that keeping your dog in the car while you run a quick errand is fine because “it will only take a minute”, but this could not be further from the truth. Every year an outstanding number of animals suffer and or die from being left in a scorching hot car. Animals can sustain brain damage (or even die) from heatstroke in just 15 short minutes. Whenever you know that your dog is going to endure risky temperatures it is always best to be over prepared. Make sure that they have a sufficient amount of water, a cold towel and possibly a small fan in order to ensure that their body temperature does not increase too much.
Another important reminder is that cooling down in the scorching heat is extremely difficult for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads. This is also useful information for when you are taking your pet for a walk this summer. On a mid-summer day, in Florida for instance, asphalt temperatures can reach 140 degrees, hot enough to cause burns, permanent damage and scarring after just one minute of contact with feet or paws. Hot sidewalks, pavement and parking lots can not only burn paws, they also reflect heat onto your pet’s body which increases their risk of deadly heatstroke.
Please remember to be cautious while outside with your pup this summer! We hope these facts and reminders help to keep you and your beloved companion safe in the heat this summer.