Sound Off

Sound Off: I keep seeing people walking their dogs in the hottest part of the day on days that are 100 degrees or hotter, out in the full sun, on burning sidewalks. I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t dangerous for most dogs, considering that dogs are covered in fur coats and can only “sweat” through their tongues.

Dori Villalon, Lawrence Humane Society executive director, said walking dogs in the heat of the day can definitely be dangerous, especially for a dog’s paws on hot cement and for dogs that are old, have medical conditions or that have a short-muzzled face. Villalon suggests people alter their routine and start taking their animals out to exercise either early in the morning or later in the evening to prevent paw burns and heat exhaustion.


classclown 5 years, 7 months ago

Sweat through their tongues? That sounds like something Irish or cait would say.

Susan Mangan 5 years, 7 months ago

I was going to reply to your pompous comment, but it's late, and I'm sure you'll get plenty of replies tomorrow.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

Here you go. Frankie8 looked it up for you. I have heard a lot of people say this, but have found no information on the web as to the percentage of Irish or caits who hold this belief. I believe it is a belief common to the Southern/Midwestern hillbilly, dating from pre-civil war days. They would say, "I am hot as a dog," and someone would reply, "You sure are, man, your tongue is hanging out of your mouth!"

Dogs don't have the luxury of overall cooling because their bodies have very few sweat glands, and most of those are in the footpads. Dogs cool themselves primarily by the process of panting and breathing, with the moist lining of their lungs serving as the evaporative surface.

Most people believe that the dog's tongue contains sweat glands, but this is not true. The dog's tongue and mouth are associated with many salivary glands that produce different forms of saliva. Some cooling takes place as the panting dog moves air across saliva-moistened surfaces of the mouth cavity.

ugottabekiddin 5 years, 7 months ago

I have had this same concern seeing dogs forced to run/walk on a leash in these hellacious hot days. If only we could enforce the following: humans subjecting their dogs to this get down on their hands knees and crawl alongside their dog...and no sunglasses or headgear shading their eyes.

Robert Rauktis 5 years, 7 months ago

You see the local fat man sans T-shirt taking up jogging for the first time in these conditions. Theoretically, they are supposed to be of higher intelligence. Small wonder dogs wouldn't be subject to any better judgment. Sweating through their tongues is a pretty catchy phrase...can we use it on bankers?

Mark Zwahl 5 years, 7 months ago

i walked my dog yesterday afternoon around 4, since we missed our morning walk. It was 104 and i was leary. I soaked my clothes down to stay cool, and soak him down also. Since he's on a long leash, he can get into the grass whenever he wants. he chooses the pavement most of the time. I did see him response to hot paws at the Thurs. Farmer's market behind Cottin's. He let me know and we moved to shade. That's my story. I ain't saying' somebody's dog isn't suffering because of walks. and i believe most owners are walking their dogs for their dogs benefit. My .02.

itsalwayssunnyinlarry 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm the same way. Most owners are smart about it. I have no choice but to walk my dog in the heat. my dog is used to a lot of exercise and starts to act up/get bored (She's only one) if i don't take her for a short walk at least a few times a day.

gastrawn 5 years, 7 months ago

seiously? I love seeing all the dogs at the farmers market.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 7 months ago

I have seen people RUNNING with their dogs when the temperature was 103-108. That is just abusive.

Dogs can't pant while running, forcing your dog to run in that kind of weather is going to result in a dead dog.

Bob Forer 5 years, 7 months ago

You people fricking amaze me. You get all hot and bothered over the mere possibility that a dog might be suffering a little discomfort, but when KU brings a proven war criminal like Donald Rumsfeld to campus to speak--on the taxpayer's dime, no less--you all sit on your thumbs silently.

funkdog1 5 years, 7 months ago

Can't we be concerned about dogs AND hate the fact that Donald Rumsfels is coming here at the same time? Sheesh.

parrothead8 5 years, 7 months ago

Some of us have the mental capacity that enables us to care about more than one thing at a time.

Tomato 5 years, 7 months ago

Proven war criminal? You mean at a war crimes tribunal? I can't believe I missed -that- headline.

Jason Johnson 5 years, 7 months ago

er... the article in question is about dogs walking, and not Donald Rumsfeld coming into town. How about you respond to that in an article about Donald Rumsfeld coming into town and not one about walking dogs? kthxbye

Fatty_McButterpants 5 years, 7 months ago

Dear Sycho,

I am pretty sure that eight comments to a story about being cautious with dogs in this heat does not constitute being "hot and bothered". Additionally, there is a huge difference between writing a comment or two on a newspaper's website and protesting at a speech on campus. If you are comparing the comments here with the comments from the Rumsfeld story, however, I am quite sure that it resulted in more than eight comments. But go ahead and continue to try and turn this story political...

appleaday 5 years, 7 months ago

And in some states, people take road trips with their dogs strapped to the tops of their cars.

JerryStubbs 5 years, 7 months ago

I take my dog for a walk very early every morning, but of course she needs out in the afternoon, too.

She likes to go out and plop right down in the sun, sometimes in the yard, sometimes right on the hot concrete.

She is a short hair breed and rarely even pants.

hyperinflate 5 years, 7 months ago

Interestingly, I saw an article about six months ago (can't remember where) that talked about how dogs' paws are specially designed with layers of fat and extra blood flowing through them to keep them from freezing in the winter. Since then I have always wondered if perhaps this would help with cooling them for runs across hot rocks, sand, etc. Any wizards out there know the answer to this?

notorious_agenda 5 years, 7 months ago

Question: What is a dog's normal body temperature? Answer: The normal body temperature for a dog falls within the range of 100.5°F to 102.5°F (about 38°C to 39.2°C).

102.5 to a dog feels like 98.6 to a human.

hedshrinker 5 years, 7 months ago

I walk with my dog early AM or late on these hot days and MUCH shorter walks than usual and only in shady areas. My girl feels deprived if we don't get out to socialize in the neighborhood, altho she likes the COLD weather better than the hot. I also carry water and a collapsible water dish with and we both wear around our necks the gel-filled kerchiefs that I keep in the frig until we go out. I have seen a few people that have a "swamp cooler" vest (made by Ruffwear) for their dog or have them wear a dog-pack with blue ice in the saddlebags. The one that drives me nuts is the guy on a bike hauling his leashed dog along with him. Even in moderate weather this seems at a minimum wrong and dangerous for both, and in this weather is outright abuse.

Kylee Manahan 5 years, 7 months ago

It is dangerous, they can suffer heastroke and death. I appreciate your concern.

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