Pets and climate change – News 13 Orlando

Raven is a sweet dog looking for her forever home at Pet Rescue by Judy in Sanford.

What You Need To Know

  • Hot days can be dangerous to paws as asphalt heats up quick
  • More frequent hot days puts pets health at risk
  • Pets can get heat stress and heat stroke just like humans
  • Pets also have a hard time acclimating to extreme temperature fluctuations

Kaley Anderson works at the rescue. She is helping Raven and the other rescues on their journey to find a loving family. When asked about Raven’s interests, she said, “she loves loves loves to play with balls, that’s what makes her the happiest.”

When it’s time to head outdoors for some playtime and exercise, they have to think about the weather.  

“When it’s hot, we have to lower their playtimes to 10 to 15 minutes so they don’t overheat,” Anderson informed Spectrum News 13 regarding the precautions that are taken into consideration.   

Otherwise Raven and her furry friends could suffer from heat stress, heatstroke and burnt paws.

What to think of when going for a walk

“We have to make sure they are not walking on the blacktop, on the hot floor, just because it burns their feet, and they get blisters,” said Anderson.

That’s because asphalt heats up quickly. If it’s 77 degrees outside, that feels like 125 degrees on your pet’s paws. 

Dr. Jessica Bell, D.B.M., a clinical assistant professor at Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, shares a bit more.

“Anything over 80 degrees air temperature, or 90 degrees air temperature, that’s when you need to be more concerned and checking the surface that you’re walking on,” said Bell. 

A warmer climate means you need to pay attention to the forecast and your pet’s safety. Since 1970, tracking shows an increase in the number of days above 77 degrees each year in Orlando.

When your dog has his or her tongue hanging out, that is an easy sign that your pet is trying to cool it down.

According to Bell, “When they pant, they increase their airflow into their upper airways, and into their lung field, so that circulation of air causes their body temperature to drop, so it’s a good natural response to being overheated.”

But prolonged exposure to heat isn’t the only concern.



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