How to keep your pup safe as Treasure Valley temperatures increase

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-19 20:19:35-04

As the summer goes on and temperatures continue to be hot, pet owners should keep their animal's safety in mind.

Not only should pets not be left in the car when it's hot outside, but pet owners should be cautious of pavement that's too hot for your dogs paws. Dr. Alix McGrath said pet owners can use their hand to test out pavement before you bring your dog out.

“A good way to kind of test it is to put the back of your hand against the surface. If you can’t hold your hand there for 30 seconds, you shouldn’t expect your dog to either,” she said.

McGrath said pet owners should be cautious when it's 75 degrees or hotter outside.

If a dog is walking on pavement that's too hot, it can result in the top layer of their paw pad peeling off or developing a deep blister. The worst cases McGrath sees are those where a dog went on a run or hike with their human.

“Or if they’re at large. If your dog becomes a stray or you know breaks out of your yard and is kind of running around town, that’s when I see the worse burns,” she said. “It’s extremely painful, it’s as if you kind of shaved off the first layer of your hand or your foot.”

Watch for signs of overheating in your dog, which McGrath said include panting or drooling excessively.

"They'll start to get a kind of glazed over look in their eye, like it's the only thing they can focus on is panting and cooling off," she said.

Boise City Council Member TJ Thomson is working to spread awareness to this issue by bringing a proposal to City Council to post signs around the city warning pet owners when the pavement might be too hot.

hot asphalt dogs sign

“It’s certainly something I would hope to achieve along the greenbelt, some park spaces, even downtown Boise where people are always walking their pups," Thomson said.

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Idaho ranks 48th out of 50 for animal protection laws. Thomson said with this low ranking, if changes are going to be made, it'll be at the local level.