As we approach summer, temperatures are starting to heat up. It’s important to remember to not leave any pets in a hot car! While you may have every intention to return to your car in “just a minute,” it takes only seconds for a beloved fur baby to start overheating. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can jump to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is even tougher for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.
When walking the dog(s) on a hot summer day, keep in mind that if it feels hot enough to fry an egg outside, it most likely is. When the air temperature is 86 degrees, the asphalt can reach a scorching 135 degrees; more than hot enough to cook an egg in five minutes. On an 87-degree day, asphalt temperatures can reach 140 degrees, hot enough to cause burns, permanent damage and scarring after just one minute of contact. Rapid burns and blistering can occur at 150 degrees. Hot sidewalks, pavement and parking lots can not only burn paws, they also reflect heat onto dogs’ bodies, increasing their risk of deadly heatstroke. Always test the pavement with your hand before heading out, walk early in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler, carry water and take frequent breaks in shady spots and never make dogs wear muzzles that restrict their breathing.
It’s very important to think about how an average person would feel in the heat and then take a minute to consider what it’s like for a canine companion. If that person would be burning up, sweating, feeling dizzy or light-headed, their animal would be too. Imagine wearing a fur coat in the summertime- that’s what it feels like for an animal. For their sake, take time and consider the conditions outside and see if they best suit your dog. Everyone wants their dog by their side—they are man’s best friend after all. To keep the dog riding along, happily sticking their head out the window for as long as possible, please be cautious of the scorching summertime temperatures and how it affects them.