It's another scorching day. One thing that has struck me as I've been driving around is the number of dogs I see being walked in the heat of the day. Not only is this putting them at risk for heat stroke, but many dogs will also suffer burns on their paws. Why is this?
Well, the pavements spend all day absorbing the heat from the sun and then retain that heat. Even if the air temperature is a pleasant 25C, the pavements can reach 52C and at this temperature it only takes 1 minute for skin destruction to occur. Pavement temperatures can rise spectacularly to over 60C once the mercury hits 31C - easily enough to fry an egg, just think what it could do to a poor dogs paws!
So, what top tips can I give to make sure your pets stay safe this summer?
- Follow the 7 second rule: place the back of your hand on the surface for 7 seconds. If you struggle to hold it down, it's too hot to walk your dog.
- Keep to natural grass. In tests, artificial grass actually heated up more than any other surface material, followed by athletic track surfaces, asphalt, brick and concrete.
- Walk in the early morning or late evening when surfaces are cooler, ideally before 8am and after 8pm.
- If you really can't avoid going out when it's hot, invest in a pair of booties to avoid burning those paws.
Please spread the word to your dog owning friends, family and acquaintances too. The more people we can educate about the dangers of hot summer weather to pets, the more unecessary suffering we can prevent.
(And don't forget cats! They can burn too, especially in more urban areas where there may be less grass and shady places to keep cool).