At What Temperature Is It Too Hot to Walk a Dog?

May 16, 2019 2:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

With summer rapidly approaching, one of the questions we’re going to most frequently receive from dog owners at our clinic is whether or not the temperature outside is too hot for them to walk their dog. This is a good question to ask, because there are certainly risks associated with walking dogs at extremely high temperatures. Not only can the air temperature get very hot in the middle of the day, but so too can the pavement—it may get so hot that it can burn the paws of your dog very quickly, resulting in some serious injury.

So how do you know whether or not it’s too hot outside to walk your dog, and what should you keep an eye on this summer as a dog owner? Here’s some information about this from a veterinarian in Bolivar, MO.

Testing the temperature

First, you should know that there are certain pavement temperatures at which it is not safe to walk your dog. When the pavement reaches 120 degrees, this can cause discomfort to your dog and possible damage with long-term exposure. At 140 degrees, permanent damage can be done to the dog’s paws, and at 150 degrees, serious injury can be inflicted within mere seconds.

The simplest way for you to test whether the pavement is too hot for your pooch is to place your hand palm-down on the pavement. If you’re not able to hold it there for at least five to 10 seconds, then you can reasonably assume it’s going to be much too hot for your dog to take a walk. You can also use certain tools to test pavement temperature at the time you’re thinking about walking your dog, if you want to be completely safe and get the exact numbers to determine whether or not it’s a good idea for you to take your dog for a walk.

General tips

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to test the temperature of the pavement yourself to determine that it’s probably not safe for you to go out on a walk with your dog. Stepping outside and feeling the air temperature and the warmth of the sun on a hot summer’s day should tell you everything you need to know. Consider your own comfort level and willingness to go out on a walk, as well as how hot the pavement is. You’re probably not going to want to spend much time outside, at least in the middle of the day.

This doesn’t mean you’re going to be trapped inside with your dog all summer long. As long as you avoid the hottest part of the day, you should be fine to go on regular walks. Try to take your dog out for walks in the morning while the sun is still coming up, or in the evening after the hottest times of the day have already passed. Mornings are especially ideal because it starts the dog’s day off right with some good exercise, and will set them up for a nice, calm day. You can always go back out for a second walk in the evening if both of you are itching to stretch your legs some more.

For more information about when you should or should not take your dog out for a walk, we encourage you to contact a veterinarian in Bolivar, MO today.

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