TIPS: Protecting your pets from the extreme heat - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

TIPS: Protecting your pets from the extreme heat

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Summer is a great time to be outdoors with your dog.  It’s also a time when you need to take special precautions for your pets. Summer is a great time to be outdoors with your dog. It’s also a time when you need to take special precautions for your pets.
SPOKANE, Wash. - Yeah, sure the heat is here, but summertime in the Inland Northwest can't be beat. There certainly is no shortage of things to do outside. Hiking, going to the lake, biking the Centennial Trail, river rafting, skydiving. The activities are endless. And of course, it is much more fun to do those things with your dog! (Ok, maybe not the skydiving or river rafting)

But if you are going to be outside with your dog in the extreme heat, it is very important you take into consideration their well-being. They aren't like us. They are covered in fur and can't tell us when they are on the verge of having a heat stroke. There are obvious precautions you can take. Don't leave them in a car and keep their water supply fresh, full and plentiful. 

If you are going to be going on a run, hike, or swimming in the heat, you need to remember your dog's feet. We have the luxury of shoes to protect our soles from the hot pavement. Dog's don't wear shoes. At least not willingly. 

Pavement, asphalt, wood, metal, truck beds, car surfaces and sand absorb the sun's heat. So while the air temperature may be 88 degrees, the sidewalk can climb up to nearly 150 degrees. Would you want to walk around barefoot on that? The results of forcing your dog to walk on such hot surfaces can have devastating results on their paws. 

So before you head out with your pup, here are a few tips from SCRAPS on how to protect your best friend's paws.

  • Check the pavement for heat before taking your dog on a walk. Place your hand or a bare foot on the surface for 10 seconds. If it is too hot for you to keep your hand or foot on it, then it is too hot for your pet. 
  • Stay on grassy surfaces and avoid bare ground when outside in the summer heat. 
  • Avoid the hottest parts of the day. Walk early in the morning or late in the evening after the pavement has cooled down. 
  • Invest in a pair of booties to help keep the heat from burning your dog's paws. · 
  • Keep in mind that your dog's paws may be more susceptible to hot materials after swimming.

If you are out with your dog, and you notice them limping, not wanting to walk, a red or pink color change in their paw pads, licking or chewing at the feet, missing pieces of the pads or blisters, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. 

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