12122017Headline:

Summer Heat Awareness

Summer is largely regarded as a time to kick back, relax and enjoy life. Have a cookout, stay up late, catch

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Stay safe in summer

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Willie enjoys some time in his yard this summer.

fireflies and take long walks. Well hold on! Just a minute. Have you considered the special risks involved in summer time enjoyment?

We all know that exercise is beneficial for both people and dogs. In the summer, it becomes important to monitor outdoor temperatures. What might feel a little bit warm to people will likely be stifling hot for dogs. Blazing hot sun on thick fur coats is surely an invitation for disaster. We all know that the temperature in our cars will quickly rise to dangerous levels. It will become too hot for an animal even in moderate outdoor temperatures inside a car.

But have you considered the temperature of the pavement? Even on relatively comfortable day with moderate ambient air temperatures of 77 degrees F, the pavement temperature can top 125 degrees F. This is, of course, in conditions with direct sunshine hitting pavement or side walks. Pets can burn their paws in a minute on pavement like that!

So how do we survive summer? Dogs still need to be walked, right? Willie and I have been getting up extra early to go for our morning walks. We are typically out by 630am every morning. Yes that includes weekends. Your dog doesn’t know it’s Sunday! Every day is the same for them. So get up and take out your buddy!

Getting up early lets us start our day with quiet time together. It is a wonderful beginning to any day to enjoy a walk while most everyone else is still in bed asleep. We always finish our day with a walk at about 730 in the evening. During this time, everybody is outside. This allows for lots of visits with people and dog friends. It’s a great way to connect with the neighborhood and to get your dog out for some social time before settling in for the night. Going out early and late for walks ensures the pavement is cool enough to walk anywhere. It also is a time for cooler ambient air temperatures, and lower humidity. It’s very hard for pets to cool down in the humidity. So be mindful of over exercise in humid conditions. In the middle of the day, Willie goes into the back yard for short time periods. The grass is cool enough for his paws, but I have to really watch him in the sunshine. He loves to lay in the blazing sun. I think it feels good on his arthritic joints, but I only let him do that for a brief interval. It’s my job as pet parent to set limits and design structure for my dog. This includes making him come inside when he might like to keep laying in the sun.

I hope you will take these extra steps to ensure your pet’s safety in summer. It does get to be aggravating when I have to limit so much of what I can do with Willie this time of year. But, that’s reality! We are going to investigate indoor doggie day care to give him more playtime while staying safe. More on that later!

Patty McGuire now resides in Virginia Beach, VA with her best buddy, Willie. Willie has his own blog at www.everybodyloveswillie.tumblr.com. An etsy store specializing in custom knits for bigger dogs is coming Fall 2013.

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Willie with him mom.

 

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