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Dog days of summer: how to keep Fido safe against hot pavement

In yesterday’s Stormtrack Insider, you saw how a hot car can be dangerous. Today, we dive into why different surfaces can be bigger threats to safety than others during the summer.

 My dogs love to go for walks and play outside, but as their owner, it’s up to me to decide whether or not it’s safe for them to do so. Pavement such as sidewalks or roads tends to warm much faster than grassy surfaces. Because of this, the pavement, especially dark pavement, can become hot to the touch fairly quickly on a warm day.

There are some things you can do to keep your pets safe during the summer. First off, use the back of your hand to test how hot the surface you'll be walking on is before you head out for a walk; if the surface burns your hand, then it’ll burn your pup’s feet. Second, make sure that you’re giving your pets plenty of water throughout the day if they go outside so that they don’t get dehydrated too quickly. There are a few ways you can tell if your pet is becoming dehydrated.

Susan McCarty, DVM, from Millersburg Veterinary Hospital in Fulton says that there are two basic ways that you can check your dog's hydration status. The first is to pull up the skin at the base of the neck, between the shoulder blades, away from your dog's body. If the skin bounces back to the normal position quickly, then, with few exceptions, your dog is most likely well hydrated. The second is a bit trickier. If you can safely put a finger in your dog's mouth without getting bitten, then place a finger between your dog's cheek and teeth to feel the gums above your dog's molars. If they are slimy, then your dog is hydrated. If they are tacky or dry, then that is a sign that your dog is dehydrated.

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Maddie Est

Maddie Est appears on ABC 17’s weekend evening broadcasts. She grew up in St. Louis, and her passion for weather originated from a young age thanks to all the different weather that St. Louis receives. She is currently studying Atmospheric Science at the University of Missouri.


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