We all know that it’s important to walk our dogs.
They need exercise for their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Also, their ancestors were wild animals, and today’s pups still retain some of that connection to the outside world.
But walking a dog when it’s too hot outside is dangerous. Very dangerous. And in the UK, a woman has started a petition to make it a crime. The petition has already been signed more than 35,000 times.
With temperatures soaring around the world and records being broken every day, 25-year-old Paige Spearman decided she had seen enough of people walking their dogs in excessive heat.
“Far too many family fur babies die every year from heatstroke due to negligence, and ignorance,” Paige writes in her change.org petition.
In the petition, she calls for it to be a crime to walk a dog in temperatures over 20 degrees Celcius (about 68 degrees Fahrenheit). That may seem like a fairly low number given the temperatures most of the United States has been hitting this summer.
(Not) Hot Dog Summer
In many places in America, the temperature doesn’t fall below 68° this time of year, even at night, which would make it impossible to get the dog walked. But the point of the petition stands—we need to be extremely careful when taking the pup out in the hot sun.
“It can take as little as 15 minutes for a dog to die of heatstroke. Dogs do not have sweat glands, so the only way to regulate their body temperature is to be in the cool, and panting,” Paige’s petition says.
Although we couldn’t find a specific temperature limit for dog-walking from the ASPCA or Humane Society, they do repeatedly stress the need to keep an eye on the thermometer.
Four Paws International, an organization dedicated to worldwide animal welfare, notes that if the air temperature is only 77 degrees, pavement and asphalt may already reach 125 degrees. And if the air temperature is 95 degrees, sidewalk temperatures can easily hit a boiling hot 150 degrees.
“It just really infuriates me that people are just so uneducated. Actually taking your dog for a walk in this heat can quite quickly kill them, Paige told HampshireLive. “I just don’t understand people’s logic.”
How To Stay Safe
A good recommendation is to check the temperature with your bare feet before letting your dog’s paw hit it. If it’s too hot for your feet, it’s likely to scorch a dog’s foot as well.
“It’s been known for a while that you should always test the floor temperature with your own feet, before making the decision to walk your dog. Ask yourself ‘if you can’t do it, why would you make your dog do it’,” Paige writes.
It’s excellent advice from Paige.
Of course, there are other dangers related to summer heat for dogs.
More Important, Helpful Information
Heatstroke can happen quickly in a dog, and it’s extremely dangerous. For a list of signs to look for and how to treat it, click here.
Wondering if your dog might be particularly susceptible to the heat? Here are 11 breeds to take extra precautions with.
And finally, here are 5 tips to keep your dog cool in hot summer weather.