WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Hot temperatures can mean scalding surfaces outside, and our pets are walking on those surfaces.
According to Dr. Michele Rohrer of the Atlantic Animal Hospital, if air temperatures are in the 90s, the temperature on asphalt can rise as high as 150 degrees.
"If it's too hot for us to stand in our bare feet, then it's too hot for them to walk with their paws," Rohrer said.
She said dogs can get second- and third-degree burns on their paws from the heat. Apply Neosporin if the dog does get burned, or bring it to the vet.
Rohrer recommends walking dogs in the shade, on the grass, carry plenty of water and said not to keep them outside for too long.
"Dogs are pretty stoic and they're very determined to play and a lot of the times, they don't know when to say when," Rohrer said. "We as their owners and as their caregivers need to be able to recognize the signs the excessive panting, the need to slow down and then just to make sure we keep them cool and that they have available access to water."
Dog walkers with Leashes of Love are trained to test the pavement before letting a dog walk on it.
"With dogs, you have to let them know also whenever they're tired because with Bryson, she just wants to keep going," dog walker Deanna Teague said of her dog. "She won't tell me she has had enough until I get her home and she's actually having trouble catching her breath.
"You have to let them know when they've had enough because they're going to overexert themselves when they're on a walk and then they're going to feel it later. If not, it could be too late."
Paws aren't the only things the heat can hurt. Rohrer said if a dog's eyes look sunken in, if they start drooling and panting, or if their gums don't have moisture, they could be dehydrated.
Dehydration doesn't take long, she said.
Take walks in the early morning hours or late evening when it's coolest, Rohrer recommended. She also said booties to put on dogs' paws can be a good barrier to the heat too as well as using indoor play areas.