Penny Lou is a one-year-old dog. She spends very little time outside on hot days like this.
“When I walk her, it’s either very early or at night. I don’t walk her much now because it’s too hot outside,” said Grace DeLeon.
She considers herself a helicopter mom to her dog. When Penny Lou does go outside, she’s never on the asphalt. “I make sure I never walk her on pavement on asphalt because asphalt heats a lot,” DeLeon said.
A good way to determine if the ground is too hot, hold the back of your hand to the pavement for 7 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
On days like today, if the temperature in the grass is 100, the concrete could be 120 and the asphalt could be a scorching 130. “Always grassy areas because they have a lot of moisture and it’s cooler, especially now that it’s raining on and off the ground is a lot cooler,” DeLeon explained.
Veterinarian Dr. Randi Fishkin from VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital explains heat-related problems can be very serious for our pets.
“I have one patient right now, that is a French bulldog as well, that is a heat stroke sufferer and unfortunately yesterday we had to put another because of heat stroke,” she said.
Dr. Fishkin explains pets, just like people, can experience serious heat exhaustion and heat stroke if they’re outside too long. Some of the symptoms include elevated breathing, dry, sticky or discolored gums, they’re lethargic, disoriented or can suffer a seizure.
“We’re definitely seeing it at least once a day, right now with animals coming in with heat exhaustion or stroke,” she said.
Dr. Fishkin says your best bet is to keep your fury friends inside as much as possible.
“We recommend that they go outside for eliminations only and then there is no recreational walking or playing,” Dr. Fishkin said.
She also recommends bringing dogs inside that are normally considered outside dogs.