CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — They may be called the dog days of summer, but no pet can hack this heat.
From streets to sidewalks, hot sand and even hot cars, our four-legged friends can easily get hurt.
“Its extremely important right now to not be taking your pets on walks throughout the day,” said Deep Creek Veterinary Hospital spokesperson Meghan Warren.
10 On Your Side tested the ground temperature around noon and got a reading of 119 degrees in the sun and 90 degrees in the shade.
“They can burn their little pads, it can be very painful,” Warren said. “We’ve seen cases where the pads are almost burned, you know, raw.”
Save the walks for early morning or late evening, she said. During the day, let them out on the grass to “go” and then bring them right back inside.
No more than 20 minutes is recommended. If they’re out longer, make sure they’re not gulping or excessively drinking water.
“It can cause a condition called bloat, which is very dangerous. The intestines, the stomach, they begin to bind and cuts off circulation.”
Just like people, age and size matter when it comes to heat exposure.
For instance, a four-pound Chihuahua will overheat much faster than a 200 pound St. Bernard.
Puppies, under a year, and older dogs, age 7 and up, are more susceptible to problems too. Excessive panting and digging in search of a cool spot could be clues they are overheated.
Also, dogs can get sunburned. Warren told WAVY.com that if you shave your pet there are sunscreens made just for them.
“Pets are just like humans, they can get melanoma, they can get skin cancer so it’s important to treat your pet just like you do your family members.”