Dog Walkers Weekly "Furr-cast" | August 4, 2018

Dog Walkers Weekly "Furr-cast" | August 4, 2018
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Welcome back, everyone! For you first-time readers, happy to have you here!

This blog is dedicated to those dog lovers across central Ohio. Unless you have an outdoor yard, many of you probably walk your dog, or dogs, on a daily basis, and maybe even multiple times a day.

The purpose and goal of this blog is to help those dog walkers and their furry, little friends make the most out of their walks outside while being safe at the same time.

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So, let's start things off with a look at what I call the "Comfort Scale."

You will notice on the images below there are certain colors that go with each time period/day of the week for the "Furr-cast." I developed this scale on my own, using several meteorological variables and some pet-friendly considerations.

You will see that the color "green" on the image above suggests that conditions are ideal for walking your pet and that there are no risks to either you or your pet, so walk all you want!

This brings me to the next level on the scale, which is a yellowish-orange color. This shows conditions are fair outside but you should still keep an eye on your pet. This is where the breed of your pet also comes into play. I'm not an expert on dogs but I know a Siberian Husky can withstand colder temperatures than a Chihuahua.

This now is up to the owner to decide if the conditions are fair enough that they could take more casual, longer walks outside.

Lastly, we have the last ranking on the scale, which shows outside conditions are poor and pet owners should keep their walks short. Dangerous weather is developing or already present and pet owners should take action to make sure that their pets are properly taken care of. This shouldn't be used to decide whether or not you should go outside; but more so an indicator that you should take shorter, more frequent walks.

Now that we have a look at the method behind the comfort scale, let's take a look at this weekends "Furr-cast."

Chyna & Cyan enjoying the outdoors! Thanks for the photo, Tami Cline!

Here comes the heat. We have been fortunate with the weather over the past couple weeks, but the heat is returning just in time for the weekend. With highs near 90, it's best to do your longer-than-usual walks before sunrise and after sunset.

Sunday will be similar, and actually a little bit warmer out. There is a spotty shower/storm chance, but the main concern is the heat, which again, should be taken seriously in order to protect your pet's health.

Next week will start off hot and we'll finally see some relief come in the middle of the week. Temperatures will return to near average, with highs generally in the low-to-mid 80's for the rest of the week. Since we're talking about temperatures back near 90, with 90+ degree heat indices, let's pay a visit to some important pet safety information.

While it's common sense to not leave your pets or children unattended in vehicles, one may be surprised by how fast things can "heat up" inside a car even with the windows cracked. It's extremely important for your pet's health that you avoid leaving them in the car. In as soon as 10 minutes, a car can heat up by nearly 20 degrees. In cases such as this and how temperatures will pan out next week, it's best to leave the pets at home rather than putting their health at risk.

Another pet safety tip is to avoid paved or concrete roads or sidewalks when temperatures are warming up, especially later in the day when the sun has already been up for several hours under mostly sunny skies. These types of surfaces can heat up extremely fast and while the air temperature isn't too hot, the grounds can be much, much warmer. In cases such as this, it's important to keep their paws on grassy, cooler surfaces. An easy test to tell if the grounds are too hot for your pets is to simply place the back of your hand on the ground for seven seconds. If it is too hot for you, then it's likely it will be too hot for your pet's paws and that it could easily damage their skin.

The "Barking Message" for next week:

  • Afternoon highs in the upper 80's/low 90's over the next several days, so make sure you keep your dogs hydrated.
  • Keep your walks shorter when temperatures are above 80 degrees. Plain and simple.
  • Avoid walks during storms, these will be most likely and intense during the afternoon hours.
  • Never leave your pets unattended in your car, even for just a few minutes with the windows cracked.
  • Avoid blacktop or concrete surfaces when we have a lot of sun and warm days. You can easily damage their paws, so stick to the grassy surfaces.

Each Friday, I will be posting a new "Furr-cast" for the weekend and week ahead and I would like to feature some of your pets on my blog. Also, if you have any suggestions or comments on my blog, I'd love to hear input. Enjoy the weekend and week ahead, furr-parents.