Heat Awareness Tips

With the weather sitting pretty at a consistent triple digit temperature, we thought it would be a great time to discuss heat awareness tips. Here are the top three things to know this summer.

The Hot Asphalt

You wouldn’t walk barefoot on the hot asphalt during an Arizona summer. Neither should your dog. The sweltering temperatures are a danger to our animals, especially when it comes to ground temperatures. Asphalt temperatures can reach up to 170 degrees in the summer. An egg can be fried at 131 degrees. Does this open your eyes?

Take the test yourself before taking your dog for a walk. If you can’t keep the back of your hand on the pavement for longer than 10 seconds, then your dog should not be walking on it.  If you absolutely must take your dog out in the middle of the day, consider purchasing booties that will protect their paws from the hot asphalt.

Rethink the time you walk your pup in the summer. Wake up early, as temperatures right now are still nice in the wee morning hours. Or wait until the sun goes down.

Heat Stroke Prevention

Dog fur is effective in protecting them during the cold weather, but in the hot days, it works against them. Unlike humans who eliminate heat by sweating, dogs eliminate heat by panting. When panting is not enough to cool down their body, their temperature rises and could lead to multiple organ failure that can sometimes be fatal. For heat stroke signs, check out our past blog post.

During the summer, there are several things that you can do to keep your dog safe:

  • Give him access to clean fresh water at all times
  • If he will be outside, ensure he has access to complete shade
  • Walk your dog during the cooler times of the day, in the morning and as the sun goes down
  • Do not overdo exercise sessions or play sessions during the hot days

How Much Water Should My Pet Consume?

A good estimate for the amount of water your pets should drink is about 1 ounce per pound. So if you have a 10 pound dog or cat, they should be drinking roughly 10 ounces of water every day. (This is only around a cup.) Puppies and kittens may need more water than this, so it is important to consult a vet when you first bring home a new pet.

Two good ways to make sure your pets are properly hydrated are to first pull a little bit of their skin around their neck up. If it “snaps” back into place, this indicates adequate amounts of water. Another way is to look at their gums. Wet and saliva filled gums are a good sign of your pet being hydrated.