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Nebraska Humane Society urges paw protection during extreme heat

May 27, 2023May 27, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Dogs need a good walk every day, even when it’s hot out, and the Nebraska Humane Society (NHS) wants to make sure pet owners are mindful of their paws.

Pam Weise said they can run into trouble if they get too hot.

“You’ll see a dog dancing,” she said. “[They] need to get over in the grass in the shade somewhere where paws aren’t being impacted by that hot surface."

Surfaces like sidewalks get as high as 165 degrees, NHS recommends walking animals off it, along the grass, to help keep their paws cool.

Different surfaces vary in temperature, using a heat gun we found grass in the shade read 93 degrees. Astroturf read 170 degrees! Weise said that’s the kind of heat that can burn your pet’s paws and make them blister.

“They can burst, they can get infected and you can run into more serious problems,” said Wiese. “Feet health is really important for dogs.”

A heat gun is handy but not necessary, Weise said pet owners can use their hands or feet to check how hot surfaces are.

“If it's too hot for your foot after 7 to 8 seconds, it’s gonna be too hot for your pet,” said Weise.

Wiese added, ideally, pets should be kept indoors in extreme heat when they need to be walked she recommends using paw pads to protect their feet. If pets must be left outside make sure they have lots of cool water, proper ventilation, and shade.

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