The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is set to hit highs of 97 later this week, with no real end in sight to the heatwave. With this in mind, here are some tips to ensure you keep your pups, and yourselves protected.
Protect Those Paws
First of all, according to The American Kennel Club, once temperatures hit 85 degrees Fahrenheit or above, extra caution should be taken to protect your pup's paws as injuries can occur.
"Pavement, like asphalt or artificial grass, can become incredibly hot and cause discomfort, blisters, and burn a dog’s paw pads," said Jerry Klein, DVM, AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, per AKC.
They go on to say that according to data from the Journal of the American Medical Association, once the air hits 86 degrees, asphalt hits 135 degrees. To put that into perspective, an egg can be fried at 131 degrees.
So, how do you know if your pup's paws are in danger? Klein said to hold your palm on the ground for 10 seconds and if it's too hot for you, then it's too hot for four four-legged friend.
They say if your dog isn't acclimatized to walking on such hot surfaces, your best bet to keep them comfortable is to find them a set of shoes or boots that, much like ours, are tight enough to not fall off, but loose enough to let them breathe.
As well as this, common-sense measures such as walking in shade, and not walking during the hottest part of the day should help.
When it comes to traveling further afield, make sure not to leave your pups in the car alone. The Humane Society of the United States write that regardless of if the air conditioning is on or not, it isn't safe.
"On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes," they write. "After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die."
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
As is the case ourselves, pups need to keep hydrated throughout heatwaves.
The Humane Society recommends making dog-appropriate popsicles, and/or buying a cooling wrap, vest, or mat.
And of course, plenty of fresh cold water, ice cubes, or a dip in a pup-sized paddling pool or bath is never a bad idea.
Dangers Of Heat Stroke
All of these measures should help protect pups from suffering from a heat stroke, which can be identified by "heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness." according to the Humane Society.
They also mention keeping in mind that dogs with underlying health conditions, who are either very old or young, overweight, or even specific short-muzzled breeds such as boxers, pugs, and shih tzus are particularly susceptible.