Keeping your dogs safe in the heat

In the summer heat, we know how to keep ourselves safe, but what about our pets?

Turns out, the common summer activity of taking your dog for a walk could actually be dangerous in the heat.

Amber Branecky, who works with the Dorothy O’Connor Pet Adoption Center in Victoria, says that walking dogs on the sidewalk can actually blister their paws in the hot temperatures.

“It can be very painful for them, you can notice signs, they kind of start hopping or something. They’ll show you when it’s too hot, but you can check yourself to see if it’s too hot by putting your hand on the pavement or the concrete whatever you’re walking on, and if you can’t hold your hand there for at least 5 seconds, then it’s too hot for their paws.”

She also says to remember your outdoor pets in the heat as well.

“Just keeping them hydrated, looking for signs of dehydration, you definitely want to know the signs of heat stroke in dogs and cats if you have outdoor cats. But you definitely want to make sure they’re hydrated, they have some shade to go into. For cooling them off, fans don’t work as well as using a cool body wrap like a damp towel, and you wrap it around their body and it actually cools them a lot better than a regular fan” says Branecky.

Branecky suggests that instead of a walk, play with your dogs indoors, or take them swimming, if they like to swim.

Be sure to also provide them with adequate water if they do play outdoors, and never leave your pet locked in a hot car for even a minute.