Dogs don't wear shoes

Thursday, June 25, 2015

By Diane Hettrick

My in box (and Facebook) are full of warnings to dog owners - don't leave your dog in the car! I'm not sure why people have to be told, but apparently they have to be told not to leave babies in cars, either.

It doesn't take heat as extreme as what we have now to be too hot for dogs. A closed up car can reach 120 degrees in a very short period of time, and cracking a window doesn't really do much.

Here's an example: when the weather first started getting warm a couple of weeks ago, my car had been parked in the sun all day. The steering wheel was so hot that I wore gloves to drive. I had an appointment at 4pm. When I came back to the car at 5pm, my empty Soda Stream bottle, which had been in the car an hour, had melted. The neck is now pointing sideways. Those things are hard plastic.

And it's much hotter this week.

Another warning for dog owners. Trying putting your hand on the pavement before you walk your dog. One of our readers checked the temperature of the sidewalk in front of her house and it was 130 degrees. Dogs don't wear shoes. Their pads are making direct contact with 130 degree cement.

Cats have problems too. They won't walk on surfaces that are too hot, but they can sunburn their ears. Cats with light colored ears are particularly vulnerable. My vet says that the only solution to a bad sunburn is to amputate the burned parts of the ears.

King County animal control officers will be out on regular patrols, and will respond to resident calls about animals in distress due to the heat. Call 9-1-1 or 206-296-PETS (7387) if you see a pet in a hot car, or an animal that lacks access to fresh water and shade. For more tips, visit the Summer Pet Safety Tips webpage.


Gaiaceous Gardens June 26, 2015 at 8:07 AM  

Thanks for this, Diane. I think people can't hear it enough....

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