Animals Best Friends: Take extra care in hot weather

Gisele Gamble Special to The Examiner
Frenzy is at Animals Best Friends in Independence.

It’s hot and although you’ve likely heard this before it bears repeating. If we’re hot, our pets are hot. They need to be kept cool and comfortable just like we do.

The ideal place for a pet during this hot weather is inside. Pets that are outside need to be in a cool, shady place with plenty of fresh water to drink. Unfortunately, even in these circumstances pets can succumb to heat stroke.

The heat also makes concrete surfaces extremely hot. This is something, as a dog walker, I have to be very much aware of. Any temperature over 70 degrees can make a sidewalk and any concrete or asphalt surface so hot that it can burn a dog’s feet.

Dogs are smart and know when they feel discomfort, but we need to do what we can to prevent these burns. When walking your dog try to stick to shaded or grassy areas. Early-morning walks are the best way to go during the summer. If you can’t do morning walks, take shorter walks, sticking to the shade or grass. Stop during the walk to let your dog rest in the shade. It’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water and a portable dog bowl so you can give your dog a drink.

To give you an idea of how hot pavement can get, when it is 77 degrees pavement can reach 125 degrees. This is enough to create a third-degree burn. A 95-degree temperature brings concrete to 149 degrees. If you scoff at this information just take your shoes and socks off and place your bare feet on the concrete. See how long you can hold your foot there.

Our pets are family, and we need to keep them as such. When walking your dog stay off hot pavement and stick to the shade and grassy areas. Don’t forget to keep your pet and yourself properly hydrated because heat stroke is another danger, we need to be aware of.

Animals Best Friends wants you all and your pets to have a happy and safe summer.