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Super Important Seven-Second Test Will Tell You If It's Too Hot To Walk Your Dog

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Super Important Seven-Second Test Will Tell You If It's Too Hot To Walk Your Dog

With Brits set for some glorious weather on Friday (17 June), dog owners are being urged to be extra vigilant when it comes to walking our fur babies.

Temperatures are expected to exceed 30ºC in many parts of the UK today, 17 June, and while it's welcome news for Brits, it's not ideal for our dogs.

As well as making sure our pups are hydrated at all times, it's vital that they're not walked during the hottest times of the day. But how can we know for sure how warm is too warm?

The weather isn't ideal for our pups. Credit: Alamy
The weather isn't ideal for our pups. Credit: Alamy
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The Kennel Club explains: "On sunny days, pavements can often be deceptively hot and will usually be much warmer than the air outside. Dark and dense pavements easily absorb heat from the sun and are good at keeping hold of it and releasing it slowly.

"Natural surfaces, including grass, tend to be much cooler, as plants release water to help cool themselves down.

"The best way to tell if a pavement is too hot for your dog to walk on is to place the back of your hand on the pavement for seven seconds. If it’s too painful for your hand, then it’s too painful for your dog’s paws.

"Walking your dog at cooler times of the day in the summer will help to reduce your dog’s risk of burning their paws, but it also reduces their risk of developing heatstroke."

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There's an easy test to do to see if the pavement is too hot. Credit: Alamy
There's an easy test to do to see if the pavement is too hot. Credit: Alamy

As well as the risk to your pup's paws, heatstroke can be fatal for dogs – and the most common cause of heatstroke in dogs is from exercise.

VetsNow explains: "It's generally safe in temperatures of up to 19°C (68°F) but be careful when the mercury rises above this. Even at temperatures as low as 20°C (70°F) dogs are at risk of heat stroke.

"Heat stroke in dogs is essentially a high temperature not caused by a fever. It occurs when dogs are no longer able to self-regulate and keep their temperature at a comfortable level."

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Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water. Credit: Alamy
Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water. Credit: Alamy

Blue Cross has issued lots of handy guidance for how to prevent and spot heat stroke in dogs. They explain:


  • Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim. Carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
  • On hot days, walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening.
  • Watch your pet for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water.
  • Never leave your dog (or any pet) alone in a car, even with the windows open.
  • Make cooling tasty treats by making ice cubes with your dog's favourite food inside or stuff a Kong and pop it in the freezer.
  • Be particularly careful with short nosed dogs such as bull breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs, and those that are overweight. These dogs can get heatstroke simply by running around.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Life, Dog, Weather

Lucy Devine
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