Pet safety paramount when temps spike

Cootamundra Veterinary Clinic veterinarian Yvette Cameron-Cook

Cootamundra Veterinary Clinic veterinarian Yvette Cameron-Cook

A Cootamundra Herald reader has contacted the paper concerned to see people walking their dogs in the middle of hot days. 

Adding to his concern, he spotted these animals walking on the road, which he considered was too hot for their paws. 

Cootamundra Veterinary Clinic veterinarian Yvette Cameron-Cook concurs that on very hot days dog walking should be restricted to the early morning or late afternoon, avoiding the hottest parts of the day. 

She said the hot bitumen surface affects different dogs in different ways with a dog used to walking on hot or rough surfaces able to handle the hot bitumen better than one which spends most of its time on grass or carpet.

Dogs do have protective pads on their paws, she explained, however exposure to hot surfaces can result in these pads blistering or becoming raw. 

It can also increase sensitivity of a dog’s feet. 

“In extremes of heat I would not recommend walking most dogs,” she said. 

Ms Cameron-Cook said a good yardstick to use is that if you are wearing thin-soled shoes and can feel the heat coming through to your own feet or if you can see the bitumen melting slightly in the sun it is way too hot to have a dog walking on it. 

She encouraged pet owners to avoid walking on the road wherever possible.

“If you’re in town there is really no reason to walk on the bitumen; walking on the grass or even the dirt is going to be much better for your dog’s feet,” she said. 

She said similar common sense needs to be applied to dogs tied on utes on hot days. 

While aluminum ute trays may not be excessively hot, there may be other metal implements on the ute which radiate heat such as dog cages.