CITY OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — We’re in the dog days of summer now. The warmer weather is bringing more people to parks and outside for festivals and they’re bringing along their pets too.
“This is a constant with good pet owners- they want to spend quality time with their pets yet life keeps getting busier,” said Gina Browning with the SPCA of Erie County. “They’ll try to fit it in at a time they think is ideal – maybe going to a festival or fireworks, or spend time in the car. But that’s not always considered quality time by the pet.”
Browning says it can be dangerous to bring pets to unfamiliar areas as they can become aggressive. Browning says now as the weather is getting warmer, too, the weather poses risks for animals like heat stroke and dehydration.
“We see a lot dogs, hot paws on the asphalt,” said Jayce Kowsky, the dog control officer from the City of Tonawanda. “If your dog is trying to get off of the asphalt, that’s the main thing. I also see dogs that will go through the pain to be with their master. Us, as the owners, have to use more common sense about what time of the day, how hot it is.”
“The blacktop heats up so quickly and instinctively we know to kick on shoes, but very often we don’t think about it with our animals,” said Browning.
The pair suggests pet parents test the pavement to see how hot it is – using the back of your hand, hold it on the blacktop for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets paws.
“It’s important that we’re aware of that and keeping an eye on our animals and not bringing them on black top,” said Browning.
Other tips include walking pets between 8pm and 10am in areas with grass and shade, having water on hand, and calling for help if you think an animal is suffering from a medical issue due to heat exposure.
“Innocently we think we are doing a good thing for our animals but it might be harder and harder for the pet.”