Expert Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe in Extremely Hot Weather

A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t hold your hand to the pavement, then it’s too hot for your dog's paws

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With temperatures projected to soar this weekend, pet experts are warning people about what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to taking care of our furry friends in dangerously hot weather.

According to Dedham Animal Control Officer Deni Goldman, pets should be kept indoors.



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“The best thing people can do in the hot weather for their pets is to keep them home,” she said. “Keep the cold on the kitchen floors, it’s the best place for them. They shouldn’t be out running errands with you, even if it’s brief. They shouldn’t be outside.”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke to watch for in a pet include: heavy panting, fainting, wobbling, confusion, collapsing, diarrhea, and vomiting.

“If you see any of these symptoms, then call your vet immediately or take your pet to the closest emergency vet hospital,” she explained.

Photo courtesy of Animal Rescue League of Boston, 5/21/22

Goldman added that the most frequent call she gets on hot days is for dogs left in unattended vehicles.

“The interior of a car can heat up 15 to 20 degrees more than it is outside, and dogs body temperatures can rise above 104 very quickly. 106 degrees and he starts having some organ failure.”

By law, leaving a pet in the elements without proper shelter or protection is considered animal cruelty.

Anyone who see’s a pet in a vehicle, even with the window cracked open, is asked to call law enforcement.

According to Goldman, the best time to take a dog for a walk is during the early morning hours or into the evening hours when the sun is not as hot. She said a good rule of thumb is that if you can’t hold your hand to the pavement, then it’s too hot for their paws.

Dogs are never to be tethered outside for more than 4 hours in the state of Massachusetts. 

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