As animal lovers, we all know by now not to leave an animal inside of a hot car, not even for a moment, but there are other dangers that face our pets when the mercury begins to rise. When the temperature starts to approach triple digits, there’re other perils to ponder for our pets.
While we should be monitoring them for signs of heatstroke and dehydration, there are some other, often overlooked ways that our animals can be harmed in the heat. Here’re a couple of less obvious threats for our pets during the summer months:
On The Surface :
When the temperature begins to soar outside, sometimes we forget how hot the ground we walk on becomes. On a typical summer’s day when the thermometer reads 95℉, common outdoor surfaces can really start to sizzle. At this exterior temperature, concrete sidewalks warm up to 125℉, brick surfaces reach 135℉ and black asphalt rises to a sizzling 140℉.
While we may not be walking around in bare feet, our animals can be stuck strolling on these surfaces unprotected. At these levels, the damage to their sensitive paws begins to happen at these levels:
- 120℉ is where contact becomes painful
- After a minute, 140℉ will cause burns and scarring
- 150℉ will cause rapid burns and blisters
Before considering walking the dog or letting the cat outside on the patio, consider feeling the temperature of these outside surfaces with your bare hand first. The same is true for hot, sandy beaches. Perhaps you could carry them to your destination and be sure to bring along a towel or blanket for them to relax in a shady area.
Dogs and cats are susceptible to painful sunburns just like humans, especially those with shorter hair, lighter colored coats and fair skin. One option is an evaporative cooling jacket that is specifically designed for animals. After submerging them in water, these coats will keep canines and cats cool and hydrated for several hours while blocking the sun from hitting their backs.
For their head and ears, there’s always sunblock that can be applied. If you’re having trouble finding a product that’s animal-friendly, usually available at larger pet stores, consider those that are designed for children. Beware of brands that contain zinc, as this mineral can be harmful to pets when ingested or absorbed into their skin.
Zinc can also be found in some skin creams, pennies minted after 1982 and other metals. Depending on the size of the animal, and the amount ingested or absorbed, damage can vary. While a little bit of cream can cause a minor upset stomach, swallowing just one penny can cause a toxic reaction that could lead to death.
In closing, remember to pay extra attention to your pets during hotter summer months. If your dog or cat spends a great deal of time outdoors, consider buying them one of those kiddie-pools to cool off. Also, be sure they always have a shady spot to lie down and plenty of clean, fresh drinking water at their disposal.
About the author:- Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer who has donated countless hours supporting her local shelters in Santa Monica. Her focus with writing is on pet-related food, health, and training