Incline animal shelter offers 2 free adoption days; Take care of pets this summer
Special to the Sierra Sun
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — For many, this summer will be dog owners’ first summer with their furry friends at Lake Tahoe.
With one of the fundamentals of dog care being walks, it’s important to remember that summers for dogs can be harder in the heat. Especially when walking on hot pavement.
“It can damage their paws,” Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe Community Engagement Director Erin Ellis said. “It can blister, it can also burn the bottom, the pads of their feet, just like it would if we were to walk barefoot. Also, a dog regulates their body temperature by sweating through the pads of their feet. So if they’re not on that hot pavement, it can be really hard for them to regulate their body temperature correctly and be able to sweat through the pads of their feet properly.”
Ellis said that the pavement can be anywhere from 40 to 60 degrees hotter than the actual air outside, which can impact the dog even more. But dog owners are in luck, as there are many solutions to keep their pet’s paws safe.
Incline Village’s Pet Network Humane Society is having two free adoption days on June 11-12 sponsored by the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation.
The event is being hosted by Maddie’s Pet Project in Nevada, which creates the ability for adoption centers to increase pet adoptions through partnerships as well as providing access to veterinary care in underserved areas.
Normally it costs anywhere from $125-$325 to adopt a cat or dog from Pet Network. The costs include fees that cover the health of each animal, which can include vaccinations, getting spayed or neutered, and getting microchipped.
“All of those fees will be covered on Friday and Saturday,” Director of Development for Pet Network Hillary Abrams said.
The event requires that pets be safely in their new homes by the end of the day June 12.
Instead, the Duffield Foundation will be covering those costs.
“So they can purchase booties or socks,” Ellis said. “Different pet stores will carry different items that can work for pets. It is something that most dogs have to get used to. It’s a very unnatural thing to have those on their feet.
“And it is different. It’s a different kind of sensation for them… Some dogs may not want to wear them at all. They may not be able to get used to it, but you can kind of over time, get them used to putting something on their feet that protects them.”
She also explained that if owners had to walk dogs on pavement, they should do it in the early morning or in the evenings when the pavement has cooled down.
“Or because we live in such an area with so many trails,” Ellis said, “more organic, natural trails with dirt, pine needles, that sort of thing, stick to trails during the summer versus the asphalt kind of in general.”
One worry on walks is overheating. Ellis explained that dogs beginning to pull to shade or pant excessively may be overheating.
“They need to take breaks,” Ellis said. “Give them that release in the shade, carry water, carry some soft or collapsible dog bowl or a water bottle that has a dog bowl feature attached to it so that they can hydrate the dog regularly.”
See some more tips below on how to keep your dog safe this summer on walks.
Is the ground too hot?
- Before you go out for your walk, put the back of your hand to the asphalt for 10 seconds. If it burns your skin before ten seconds is up, it’s too hot for your dog.
- If you can’t go barefoot in the sand because it’s too hot, your dog shouldn’t be walking in it either.
- After letting your dog swim, remember that water softens the pads of their paws, and that could make them more susceptible to injury. Make sure to dry their paws and have them walk on grass there is any around.
- Keep that in mind when walking your dog in 70 degree temperature weather, because the ground is probably much hotter.
Signs of Injury on a Dog’s Paws
- When the dog is limping or refusing to walk
- Licking or chewing at their paws
- When the pads of their paws look darker in color than usual
- Redness or blistering
- Missing parts of the pads of their paws
How To Prevent Burns and Cuts This Summer
- Try to walk your dog early in the morning or sometime in the evening to avoid burning paw pads.
- Go on frequent walks during these times to build up the calluses on paw pads and toughen the skins, leading to less injuries in the future.
- Moisturize pet paws using Vaseline or Paw Nectar to protect paws from cracking, peeling, or cutting on walks.
- Consider shoes for your pet. Some dogs can’t wear shoes, or feel uncomfortable wearing them, so make sure to do some research about your breed of dog and shoes beforehand.
- Use the beautiful Tahoe trails! The dirt can be easier on dog’s paws and provide a safer walk.
- Make sure to check and clean your pets paws often!
Miranda Jacobson is a Staff Writer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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