The summer heat is upon us and that presents some dangers to our pets. These include hot sand and asphalt, snakes, salt and fresh water, insects, dehydration/heat stroke, and hot cars. First I will discuss the dangers of hot sand and asphalt/sidewalks in this blog and the other topics will follow. Please see old blog about snakes and their dangers in South Carolina.
There are some things that you can do to prevent injury from hot sand or sidewalks in your pet, both if these risks are present in Charleston. Whether you are walking downtown or out at Kiawah or Folly Beach hot surfaces are present. This includes walking in the shade or cooler times of the day. It is best first thing in the morning before the sun has been shining all day on the sidewalk/sand. If you can stay on grass, that is better as well. Keep in mind that even the wet sand can still be hot on our pets’ paws. If you plan to walk on the sand or sidewalk frequently, it is best to condition the pets paws to the environment and “toughen them up.” Just like the first time you are out in the summer your feet haven’t adjusted to the heat and you can get sores, so can your pet. Walking your pet when its cooler on the asphalt and sand can help build up tolerance, but it is still not enough to walk on these surfaces in the dead of day. Some pets may tolerate dog booties or socks, which can provide some protection from the hot surfaces, but not all pets will. Try these at home first before venturing out on a walk.
It is also important to check your pets’ paws after coming in from a walk. Be sure to check for any foreign objects that may be stuck in the fur or paw pad, any cracks in the pads, redness, or pain. Any of these things may be uncomfortable to a pet and they may try to hide it (they are designed to do so). If you notice anything different on the paw pads please call us at Angel Oak Animal Hospital.
Just remember if you cannot keep your hand on the asphalt or sand for at least 7 seconds, then it is too hot for your pet to walk on.