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This seven-second test will tell you if it’s too hot to walk your dog safely

By Lisa Walden

How hot is too hot to walk your dog? With the hottest day of the year predicted to reach highs of 37c on Thursday 25th July, this is a question all dog-owners need to ask.

So, if you’re heading out on a walk with your dog during a heatwave, make sure to check if it’s safe first, as their paws can easily burn on hot pavements and paths.

7 second test recommended

How do you know if it’s too hot to walk your dog?

In order to provide help for owners, the Dog’s Trust is encouraging people to use a ‘seven-second’ test before stepping outside with your pet.

Hold your hand on the pavement for seven seconds. If it is too hot to hold it there for the full seven seconds, then it is too hot for your dog to walk on.

Signs of burned pads

  • Limping or refusing to walk
  • Licking or chewing at the feet
  • Pads darker in colour
  • Missing part of pad
  • Blisters or redness

Take your dog to see a vet if you see any of these signs.

Instead of heading outside in the direct sunlight, choose to walk your dog early in the morning or once the sun has set in the evening.

“There are so many things we can do to make sure our dogs stay happy and healthy in hot weather, but it is crucial we keep a close eye on them, even if we are playing indoors. If we all do this, then hopefully we and our dogs will be able to enjoy a long hot summer,” Dogs Trust veterinary director, Paula Boyden, told the Metro.

You can also help your dog keep cool by:

  • Avoiding long car journeys
  • Giving your dogs plenty of shade and water throughout the day
  • Using pet-safe sunscreen on their nose, ears and skin
  • Taking extra care if your dog has breathing difficulties



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