Protecting pets in the heat

With it getting warmer earlier than usual this week, it’s important to keep your pets safe in the heat.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -With it getting warmer earlier than usual this week, it’s important to keep your pets safe in the heat.

Unlike humans who sweat, dogs eliminate heat from their bodies by panting. When panting isn’t enough, a dog’s body temperature rises. When that body temperature is too high, they can experience heat stroke, which can become fatal if not treated immediately.

On a day like today, with temperatures getting to 90 degrees outside, be sure to always “look before your lock” and never leave pets unattended in the car-- even for a short period of time.

Even with windows cracked, our cars heat up quickly-- just like an oven-- and can quickly become unsafe for pets. Experts warn that animals have a much lower tolerance for overheating than humans and within just 15 minutes, can die from heat stroke.

During these hot days, they say just leave your pets at home instead of taking them with you to run errands. Another thing to be aware of is taking your dog for walks in heat like this.

Because we wear shoes, we likely don’t notice how hot asphalt or even concrete can get in the heat. When it’s 85 degrees outside, the concrete temperature is already over 100 degrees and dark asphalt is 130 degrees.

The higher the air temperature gets, the hotter the ground gets, too. In the summer months when we’re in the mid-90s outside, asphalt can get up to 150 degrees, which can burn and blister our pup’s paws.

One way to test this is the seven-second rule. Place the back of your hand against the concrete or asphalt for seven seconds.

If it’s too hot for you to keep there, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws, too. You can protect your dog’s paws by walking on dirt or grass and sticking to early morning or late evening walks.

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