KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a very hot summer, the United States is due for a cool down. Heat-related illnesses can be painful for your dog, and expensive for you — but lower temperatures make not make your pet less vulnerable.
Dr. Christina Belew's office is in Kansas City and has seen a lot of city dogs who walk on a lot of concrete.
"People forget that their pads are really sensitive," Belew said of the pups' paws.
"A lot of my runners don't think about the paw pads, until the dog is limping. They think, 'Oh, they've sprained something,' and then I flip over their feet, and I've got blistered pads."
And if there's not enough shade at your house, they can burn those pads there too. In temperatures like what Kansas City has experienced this summer, even the shade doesn't offer the relief your dog needs.
"People think, 'They've got a doghouse,'" Belew said. "Well go out and sit in that doghouse when it's 110 degrees outside and there's no air moving."
Which leads to the more obvious, and potentially deadly threat to your pet this summer: heat stroke. And it happens because most dogs really can't pace themselves like people can, even in temperatures you might think are safe.
"I had one do it at 80 degrees," Belew said. "It was humid, we were at the park, it was just too much for him.
And if your dog gets heat stroke, get ready for an expensive bill. It can cost $200 to 600, and top $1,000 if you have to go to an emergency clinic.
"It's aggressive, expensive treatment because they have to be here one to two days," Belew said. "It causes a pretty nasty cascade of events within the body."
So if you're hot, your dog is even hotter, inside and out. Not to mention, you're not walking on your hands and bare feet.
Another tip: Belew said absolutely do not put ice on your dog to cool him/her down. It won't work, and can actually affect his or her cardiovascular system. Cool water and a cool rag are the way to go.