Eastern Washington temperatures are on the rise—Here’s how to protect your pets
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Temperatures across Eastern Washington are approaching the mid-90s this weekend with the first 100-degree day of the year expected on Monday. Even if you can handle the heat, your pet might not have the same luck.
Experts from the National Weather Service in Seattle tasked pet owners with placing their hands against the asphalt pavement for seven seconds during the heat spike. If it’s too hot for your hand, then it’s definitely going to be too hot for a paw.
When the air reaches 77 degrees, the asphalt rises to 125 degrees since it absorbs more heat than your average surface. At that temperature, skin destruction begins within just 60 seconds of contact. For reference, an egg can fry in five minutes when exposed to asphalt at 131 degrees.
FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Hot and Sunny Weather sweeps the Tri-Cities and Yakima regions
When you take your dog for a walk, be sure to keep it on grassy terrain. Paw pads are particularly sensitive and pets can overheat quickly since their bodies are much closer to the ground. According to the ASPCA, overheating is much more prominent for breeds with flat faces like Pugs or Persian Cats.
The organization also suggests refreshing your pet’s water often since it’s much easier to dehydrate in the summer heat. If you take a pet outdoors and notice it panting excessively or having difficulty breathing, head back inside immediately. This grows increasingly common for animals that are overweight, elderly, or have diseases impacting the heart and lungs.
Do not, under any circumstances, leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Not only is it extremely dangerous, but it’s a punishable offense under Washington state law. Authorities are permitted to forcefully enter a vehicle to free an animal from an enclosed car if they believe the pet is suffering.
Any good pet owner knows their companion’s signals and trusts their instincts, but they can also overestimate their animal. Take the proper precautions to make sure that your animal can have a happy and healthy summer.
Please Note: All temperatures listed in this article are in Fahrenheit.
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