Is the road too hot for your dog? You should “Paws to Feel the Pavement”!

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Dr. Laurel Davis, Asheville’s integrative veterinarian, offers “Stories from a Holistic Veterinarian”, the blog of a holistic vet and “animal interpreter.” With a clinic in downtown Asheville, NC. Dr. Laurel also offers animal health, lifestyle and vaccination advice for cats, dogs and their human friends across the country.
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Pay attention to your hot dog: Paws to Feel the Pavement!

Asheville's integrative veterinarian
Is the summer pavement too hot for your dog?

I love driving through downtown Asheville, NC on my way home after a satisfying day with my clients and their amazing companions at Sunvet Animal Wellness Clinic. What has been catching my attention during this recent heat wave is the number of canines accompanying their people on Asheville sidewalks during the hottest part of the day. Eeeks!  If that person would only put the back of their hand on the pavement for ten seconds, they would most definitely think twice about their foray onto the sizzling sidewalk, burning blacktop, or piping hot pavement which is actually frying Fido’s toes.

On occasion, I see a low-rider, such as a Dachshund, or a short-nosed dog, such as a Bulldog, or a breed that embraces both of these qualities like the Pug, and I truly fear for their well-being.

Not only are they subject to the toe fry, but they are perilously close to the radiating heat with no relief in sight. Additionally, the brachycephalic canines (the official term for short-nosed dogs), who have a hard enough time taking a decent breath through their undersized or flattened breathing passages in a normal scenario, must take on the burden of breathing as if in a sauna.  I send out a silent prayer that their caretakers will see how reluctant their furry friend is to escort them as they explore our fabulously eclectic and entertaining town. Will their people acknowledge the long, droopy tongues, the dashing from from one shaded area to another,  the pulling towards the few grassy or earthen areas?  

I would like to remind everyone to think twice about taking your favorite walking companion out on the sun-blazoned streets.  An ambient temperature of 77°F will create a scorching 125°F asphalt, and an 87°F air temperature may cause asphalt to creep up to 143°F! 

A good rule of thumb: put the back of your hand firmly on the pavement. If you can’t hold it there for ten seconds, then the road or sidewalk is too hot for your dog’s paws.

I imagine I am preaching to the choir with readers of this article. I am sure all of you are already leaving your fuzzy buddies at home, lounging in the cool shade and enjoying their afternoon siestas, when there is any possibility for scorched puppy paws.

May your walks be filled with shade and grass and may you Paws to Feel the Pavement!

Shine On,

Dr. Laurel 

Asheville's integrative veterinarian

Dr. Laurel Davis is Asheville’s integrative veterinarian, offering phone and Skype consultations for animal lovers everywhere. Call 828-254-2221 or order an Ask Dr. Laurel™ phone or Skype session or bring your dog or cat to her downtown Asheville, NC clinicRead more patient stories.

Get to know Dr. Laurel by reading her blog.

Do you have a story about Dr. Laurel’s dog advice or how she helped your dog or cat? Please leave it in the comments below or write a Google Review.

Do you have a story about Dr. Laurel’s dog advice or how she helped your animal companion? Please leave it in the comments below or write a Google Review.

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