Even with monsoon season upon us, Tuesday marked the first day of summer, and people should always take into consideration the temperature when walking or taking their pets along for a ride.
It is suggested that pets should not be left in cars anytime the temperature is above 70-75 degrees, which can make it a year-round threat; always check temperatures before considering taking a pet along to wait in the car. According to PETA, in 2021 the known number of hot car deaths for animals was 59. Leaving the window down, providing water or parking in the shade will not prevent an animal from getting heat stroke, so it is best to leave the pups at home when running errands or when people know they have to stop and park for any period of time.
If people see a dog suffering in a vehicle, the recommendation is to have the store where a vehicle is parked call the customer on intercom, call the police or, as a last alternative and depending on the dog’s condition, to free the animal if necessary and if all other resources are exhausted. The legalities are a bit fuzzy on breaking other people’s windows in such situations, but precedent trends show someone who has done so in the past has typically not been held liable or at fault; however, they can be sued for damage to property by the owner.
Walking a pet on hot asphalt can essentially result in minor to third-degree burns on a pet’s paw pads, which can take days or even weeks to heal, according to PetMD.
The Dog People site advises that it’s hard to give a precise temperature at which you should be concerned because it depends on the surface the dog is walking on. Instead of checking the thermometer, check the surface with your bare hand.
To prevent pad burns, follow these tips:
• Walk your dog on dirt or grass paths
• Walk your dog in the early morning or evening before temperatures climb
• Avoid black asphalt, which can burn the pads instantly
• Try shoes or booties for your dog
If your dog is refusing to walk, has discolored pads, is licking or biting, or has visible blisters/redness, the dog needs to be seen by a vet, as wounds like these can easily become infected.