On hot summer days, dogs prefer cool feet, breakfast indoors

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A man bought a plate of eggs for his dog at Home Plate Deli on July 20, while his loyal friend waited patiently in the car for its breakfast. The food and a morning drive is part of their daily ritual.

But there was an excessive heat warning that day and someone called the police to report a dog left in a vehicle unattended.

“Officers checked the dog,” Animal Control Officer Ed Risko said. “The windows were down, the vehicle was in partial shade, no signs of stress or heat exhaustion.”

The driver had parked fully in the shade, but Risko said the sun was moving. Officers found him by doing a store-by-store search at the shopping center. He was told to take his dog home, according to Risko.

On July 21, police received a similar call, this time about a dog left inside a tan GMC Yukon  at Century Plaza. Officers searched the area, but were unable to find the vehicle.

The interior of vehicles heat up drastically in the sun and can literally cook a pet left alone inside.

Keeping your pet cool

When traveling with your pet, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends carrying a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water.

“The right time for playtime is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid,” according to the ASPCA. The organization also says pets should have fresh water and shade outside and be brought inside to rest in a cool part of the house.

When walking outside, if asphalt is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pet’s feet, according to Risko.

He has a sheet showing the differences between air and asphalt temperatures. When the air is 77 degrees outside, asphalt is 125 degrees. At 86 degrees, asphalt is 135 degrees and when it is 87 degrees outside, the asphalt is 143 degrees.

“When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt,” the ASPCA says. “His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during this time to a minimum.”

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