|This article was suggested by a long-time client living in an arid climate in the U.S. with experience working for the National Park Service. |
Following are some tips for summer fun and safety for our beloved canine companions. I hope these tips will help as a reminder as we spend as much playtime with our pooches as we can.
– Most of us live in, or occasionally visit, an area where the summer temps can reach 80 or above, if even for just a few days in the hottest part of summer. We know what the air temperature is, but do we know how hot the ground can get with direct sun exposure?According to this client, “Our Summer is so hot the dogs cannot go out until sunset, the ground burns their paws. The air temp may be 100 but our hand held temp thermal read outs can show the rocks to be as hot as 134 degrees!” Ouch! I’ve always been mindful of how hot asphalt is when walking my dogs in summer, and I’ve assumed that moving to dirt or trails would be safe. I will be more mindful in the future!
– Don’t forget to have plenty of fresh water available for your pets and for yourself. We may not happen upon a natural source of water frequently enough, and ground water in natural areas may expose our pets to contaminates and parasites.
– When hiking in National Parks, service dogs are welcome and all other dogs should be left at home or with a pet sitter for their comfort and safety. We know the hazards of leaving dogs in a car for extended periods of time in the heat of summer without proper ventilation and water.I appreciated this explanation from my Park Service client on why dogs are not allowed in most National Parks. “Our wildlife have very few spaces left in the USA where they are allowed their space. Dogs really do compromise that by just peeing on bushes. It means to the little Kit Fox that another carnivore has moved into the area and the Fox will move on and have to fight for a den. It becomes a smaller and smaller world for them to survive in and sometimes they loose out.”
Enjoy your animal companions and keep their needs and safety in mind.