July 2017 Magazines - Page 47

Petpourri HOT DOG! We’re Talkin’ Summer Safety By Ashlee Verba I N A PLACE LIKE LAS VEGAS , SUMMERTIME CAN BE a double-edged sword: while we all antici- pate soaking up some long-awaited vitamin D, there’s no denying it gets blasted hot out there. With temperatures easily reaching over 105ºF on a daily basis there are considerations and provi- sions that need to be made for anybody enjoying an outdoor activity – but especially our pets. It’s a simple and all too common thought that our pets are animals who are naturally built to endure and adapt to their surroundings, includ- ing hotter temperatures. Sure, our pets can certainly withstand the heat, but that doesn’t mean they know how to proactively prevent the dangers of heatstroke and other warm weather woes; and that’s where we as pet owners come in. If you’re feeling suddenly insecure about your summer safety smarts, not to worry! You’re in the right spot for a quick refresher. Oh the Places You’ll Go When it comes to walking, we may have a slight bone to pick. While we recognize that walking your animal is an amazing way to keep them healthy and enrich your bond, you simply cannot leash up at anytime of the day during the summer months. For reference, if it’s 87ºF outside (which never happens in the summer), asphalt in the sun can reach 143ºF, while it only needs to be 125ºF to be destructive to paw pads. Thankfully, there is a very simple and easy way to tell if the ground is too hot for your dog: Place the back of your palm on the pavement, if you can’t keep it there for five seconds, then it’s too hot for your pup’s paws. If possible, plan your jaunts in the early morning or evening when you can both enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Lastly, if you plan on giving your pet a summer cut, it’s important not to cut it too short. Believe it or not, your pet’s coat diffuses and regulates their temperature through its various layers and taking too much off the top can cause sunburn and promote overheating. July/August 2017 Like we said, there’s no shortage of things to do as the weather warms up; whether dog-friendly trails, lake days, dog parks, or day trips, your companion can be in tow for all the outdoor fun this season, but not without a little planning. If it’s a hike out at Lake Mead or Red Rock Canyon you’re consid- ering, try to plan it for the early morning to avoid the hottest part of the day. If you’ll be hitching up the boat and spending the day on Lake Mead, make sure there’s a shaded area for your dog to retreat to and don’t discount doggy sunglasses. It may sound (and look) a little silly, but seriously, if your dog’s going to frequently act as co-captain, the sun’s reflection off the water can be just as damaging to their eyes as our own. With such extreme temperatures as the ones we experience, even something as simple as a car ride or neighborhood walk should be done with consideration. Absolutely never leave your dog in the car unattended, even if it’s a mere 10-minute errand. For those who may think we’re being paranoid, consider this: If it’s 95ºF outside, the car will reach 114ºF in just 10 minutes and almost 130ºF in half an hour – temperatures that could kill your companion. We know some pets go crazy for a car ride, but if your pet can’t come into the place you’re driving to, it’s best to leave them home. 47