And my dogs aren't too happy about it either. But face it, those days when we could go on hour-long walks at noon or let them hang in the car while we run get a Slurpee are over. It's summertime in Florida, and temperatures will be soaring to the nineties and higher.
Now personally, I LOVE the summer, but you won't find me on the beach in a fur coat or walking around barefoot on asphalt. But that's awfully close to what we put our furkids through when we take them out into the summer heat. It can be grueling, and if we're not careful it can be life-threatening.
I'll never forget the day I came home to my apartment to find my cat in an early stage of heat-stroke on my balcony. Apparently, she had fallen asleep in a shady spot which had disappeared as the afternoon sun advanced. Her eyes were glazed open, he tongue was darting in and out, and she was visibly panting. Luckily, I was able to move her to a cool spot and revive her, but if I hadn't come home in time I probably would have found her dead (she died a few years later, peacefully, in her sleep).
That was a close call, too close for my taste. I cherish my limited time with my companions, and I want it to last as long as feasible. And here in North Florida, that means keeping them safe during the summer.
Hopefully, everyone's aware of the dangers of leaving dogs in parked cars. Even if the temperature outside is a relatively pleasant 85 degrees, the temperature inside the car can easily be twenty to forty degrees higher. Combined with a heavy coat, that can be lethal.
But even a short walk on a brutally sunny day can pose problems. Dehydration, heat stroke, scorched paws and even sunburn can affect our furry friends. I try to avoid summertime walks during peak heat altogether, preferring to take them out in the early morning or late afternoon cool. Even then, heat and/or humidity can become unbearable after a short while.