When is it too hot to walk your dog? Proper care when they are overheated? Walking your dog during the summer

James Patrick

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An owner keeps their dog hydrated during a walkCHALABALA / GETTY

With another year of record-breaking heat in the United States, it’s more important than ever to take care of our pets, especially dogs. People often underestimate the damage that the heat can cause. Let's go over some ways to walk our dogs and enjoy the hot summer months safely.

For pet owners it’s important to understand what to do to protect our animals in the heat. Vets and humane societies feel that when the temperature goes above 75, it's beginning to get in the danger zone for walking dogs.

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A dog with damaged paws from hot surfacesNBC Today Show

Testing Hot Surfaces Before a Walk:


To test heated surfaces, place the back of your hand on asphalt or cement for 7 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dogs. In excessive heat, dogs can have their pads melt, which is very painful and will take time to heal. Also, remember to bring water for you but also your dog. They must stay as hydrated as possible.

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These are the surface temperature differencesAlanea Cremen 13WMAZ

Do Dogs Need Sunscreen?

Dogs' skin is sensitive and they can get sunburned. Many dog owners like to shave their dogs during hot months but it exposes them to the sun. They can get sunburned if you walk them in a very sunny area so sunscreen is a good idea. The sunscreen should not contain zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) which is poisonous to dogs. Some dog products are very expensive but there are some affordable ones. Various dog owners have stated that they use unscented children’s sunscreen that doesn’t contain zinc oxide or PABA.

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What temperatures are safe to walk your dogFetchpet.com Pet Insurance

How to Treat An Overheated Dog:

If your dog is overheated, there are various things you can do. Unlike humans, dogs and cats have few sweat glands so they regulate their body temperature through panting. It can take as little as 15 minutes for a dog with heat stroke to die.

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Dogs enjoying a beautiful dayEllis County Pet Resort

When your dog is overheated, you need to cool them immediately. Go into a cool place with a fan on them and wet their paws and skin with cool water. DO NOT use ice water because this could cause a life-threatening event for them. Give them water or ice cubes to keep up hydration. If the animal seems to be getting worse, keep doing this on the way to an emergency vets office.

A Fun And Safe Experience

Try to walk your dogs in the early hours of the day or in the early evening hours before it heats up and is cooler. In general, make sure dogs have a lot of water available to them at home, and once in a while put some ice cubes in it. Some dogs love ice cubes in their water after a walk or during a hot day. Your pet will thank you.

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Writer & Host of The Forum Celebrity Podcast with Florence Carmela. We conduct Celebrity Interviews, cover Pop Culture & Trending News Stories! I've been a featured guest on several radio shows & podcasts. Twitter: @realjamespat @FlorenceCarmela

Fairfield, CA
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