Summer is upon us as usual. I love summer. When you have fibromyalgia like I do, you relish warm days and dread cold ones. But I’m not here to talk about my pain. I am here to talk about pain you may be giving your dog without even thinking about it.
I see people walking their dogs all the time…on asphalt. On a hot day, in the mid afternoon in full sun, place your hand on the asphalt and leave it there for a bit. Hot isn’t it? Imagine what it’s like for a dog. They have to feel that four times. Once on each foot. And dogs’ feet are very sensitive. They have to be to know where they are and what is under them. With the exception of sight hounds, dogs actually have poor vision to a degree. They rely mainly on smell, hearing and feel.
Concrete is OK. It does not soak up the heat like asphalt. And neither does a lot of brick surfaces. But asphalt. Unless it’s a cloudy day or a cool day, it’s going to be hard on your dog.
“But my dog acts fine” I have heard some people say. Well, the loyalty of a dog will make them do things that will hurt them sometimes. Walking on hot asphalt is one of them. But if you remember, as a child running around barefoot, walking across a hot pavement, saying to yourself “ouch ouch ouch”, that about what’s going through that dog’s mind when they are walking across the same type of surface.
Dogs cool themselves two ways. Panting and dispersing heat through their feet. That is why you see that a lot of dogs on hot days will go and stand in water. They are cooling themselves off. Like we do when we place a cool rag around our neck or on our head. So when they are walking on something hot, you are taking away one of their cooling systems.
The next time you take your dog out on hot days either avoid asphalt, carry the dog over asphalt (if possible) or buy the dog a nifty set of dog shoes. You will be doing him or her a favor.
Sussie and PTSD Service Dog “Gunny” the Dachshund