Summer is upon us and so is the heat! Rising temperatures and summertime activities can pose a real risk to your pets. There are lots of things to do in Prescott Arizona during the summertime. Craft fairs, festivals, art shows, outdoor concerts, hiking, biking, kayaking and much, much more. Many of these things may seem like great fun for both you and your dog. However, as a professional pet sitter and dog walker, my advice is leave your pup at home.
Heatstroke is very real and very serious. Dogs have a limited ability to cool themselves in an effective way. Unlike humans that have sweat glands all over their bodies dogs only have sweat glands in their nose and on their foot pads. Panting is the main method a canine has to cool down and under extreme conditions panting just doesn’t work efficiently. Regardless of the time of day overexertion, even after dark, can cause heat related health issues for a healthy, athletic dog. Puppies, seniors and breeds like pugs and bulldogs are at even greater risk. So if you want to take your dog on a hike through The Dells be sure to go in the early morning. Heatstroke is easily preventable. Just don’t take your dog out in the heat of the day! Leave them in the comfort of their home.
Pets can also burn their paws. Dog walking should be done early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid walking on hot ground surfaces. If you can’t touch your hand to the ground for ten seconds then your dog shouldn’t be walking on it! Also keep in mind that asphalt and other ground surfaces retain heat and take time to cool off. If you have a small or short dog you also want to keep in mind the temperature of the air they are breathing will be hotter due to the proximity to the ground. When meeting with new pet sitting and dog walking clients I always explain that when the temperature is above 80 degrees I will not take their dog for a long walk. Potty breaks and indoor play only is my policy to keep everyone safe, happy and healthy.
Every year I see people and their pets wandering about the Prescott Courthouse Square on a hot summer afternoon. People looking at the arts and crafts while totally oblivious to the condition of the poor dog at the other end of the leash. Pets that are having trouble breathing. Their paws are burning. They need a drink of water. They are stressed and anxious because of the size of the crowd and all the other dogs that are there and stressed as well. In no way is this fun for the dog.
Yes, we all like to spend time with our beloved pets but these scenarios are far beyond ideal. Your dog will be more comfortable at home and just think of that wonderful greeting you will receive when you walk in the door!