Well, it’s June, and with that comes soaring So Cal temps! Here in Southern California, there are many things that can harm your pet in regards to temperature and weather. Summer is a great time to update yourself on the newest ways to keep your pet happy, healthy and cool this summer!
Hot Asphalt Alert!
Summer is full of fun, from beach trips to lazy sun-filled afternoons. It also poses unexpected dangers, however, especially when it comes to pets. Many owners are unaware of just how much their dog’s paws suffer from stepping on overly hot asphalt when the Temecula streets heat up.
Your dog’s foot pads might seem tough, but they are in fact quite sensitive. Hot pavement surfaces wreak havoc on this vulnerable body part. Metal or tar-coated surfaces that absorb the sun’s heat in the summer sun are especially tricky.
If you do notice signs of paw pad damage, take action immediately. First, keep the foot area cool and clean. Flush it with water and provide a cold compress if available. To avoid serious repercussions, get your pet to a vet as soon as possible.
A veterinarian will determine whether extra treatment is necessary. Possible solutions may include antibiotics or pain medication. The most important thing is to prevent infection—and to ensure your pup is comfortable. Your vet may also recommend a special cleaning regimen for your dog’s paws. Use the 5-second rule! Place your hand on the hot pavement! Remember: if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them!
The Law on Dogs In Hot Cars
PENAL CODE – PEN
PART 1. OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS [25 – 680]
( Part 1 enacted 1872. )
TITLE 14. MALICIOUS MISCHIEF [594 – 625c]
( Title 14 enacted 1872. )
(a) A person shall not leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.
California states that it is a crime to leave an animal in a hot car, but what if you’re the one to find the animal…
What can you do?
Unlike humans, dogs are unable to sweat. They rely mainly on their respiratory tract to dissipate heat. As the ambient temperature increases and approaches core body temperature, panting becomes much more important for cooling. However, when the ambient humidity is also increased, panting becomes much less efficient, making it more difficult for dogs to regulate their body temperature. This results in overheating. Essentially a dog cannot get cool in a hot car because the temperature inside is ABOVE his body temperature.
How to help a pet left in a hot car
Take down the car’s make, model, and license plate number. If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner. Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation.
If the owner can’t be found, call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive. In several states, good samaritans can legally remove animals from cars under certain circumstances, so be sure to know the laws in your area and follow any steps required.
Remember this summer to make sure you and your pets are safe and happy. Make sure everyone is cool and calm!