Southern Arizona temperatures not well suited for four-legged friends, according to vets

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 6:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s a good rule of thumb to step outside and put your hand on the ground. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.

The Arizona sun can be unforgiving, especially for those afternoon walks with your pet. With triple-digit temperatures here, it may be time to adjust your walk schedule.

“Even when it’s 75-80 degrees, the concrete and the black asphalt will get remarkably hot. Well over 120 degrees, which is hot enough to burn paw pads,” according to Dr. Christopher Coverdill with the VCA Animal Hospital.

He urged pet owners to be aware before stepping out in the heat with dogs. Too much time outside could cause your pup’s paws to blister and burn.

Dr. Coverdill said heat stroke and heat exhaustion in your dogs is difficult and expensive to treat.

“It involves a whole lot of IV fluids to cool them down and supportive care because the GI tract oftentimes gets very very upset. Sometimes it even requires blood transfusions of products to help them because they can run into a lot of problems like organ failure. It can be very expensive and difficult and unfortunately the dogs don’t always make it,” he said.

For some breeds, just being out in the heat may be too much.

“There are certainly ones that that are more pre-disposed to heat injury. Like your pugs, boxers, bulldogs and the like. Their airways are smaller. They can’t move as much air in and out. So, they are more prone to heat stress and heat stroke,” he said.

Dr. Coverdill added that if your dog is too hot, you can try soaking their feet in cool water to bring them some relief. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to take them to the vet.

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