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Angel in her coatSummer 2016

Summer heat can be murder on my paws

Pavement, asphalt, wood, metal, sand and car or truck surfaces can become very hot during the summer months. These materials absorb heat from the sun and can stay hot for hours even after the sun has gone down. Temperatures on these surfaces can exceed 140° F.

Tips to protect your pet's paws in the dog days of summer.

• Check the pavement for heat before taking your dog on a walk. Place your hand or a bare foot on the surface for ten seconds. If it is too hot for you to keep your hand or foot on it, then it is too hot for your pet.

• Stay on grassy surfaces and avoid bare ground when outside in the summer.

• Avoid the hottest parts of the day. Walk early in the morning or late in the evening after the pavement has cooled down.

Why I don't use retractable leashes

First of all, "leash" is probably not a good word to describe the thin cord used in many retractable devices. Secondly, the real purpose to use a leash to walk a dog is to keep the animal safe and under your control. Retractable leashes often do the opposite.

There are many reasons to avoid or reconsider the use of a retractable leash, starting with the fact that on this type of leash, your dog can get far enough away from you to either get into trouble or into harm's way.

Retractable leashes are responsible for many injuries to both dogs and dog walkers - from superficial burns and cuts to horific amputations.

In most cases, these devices are also wholly counterproductive to training a dog to walk politely on lead. The very nature of retractables trains dogs to pull on the leash to extend the lead. Needless to say, this pulling behavior will be repeated whenever the dog is on a standard leash.

Have a wonderful adventurous summer with your companion.


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