Have you ever felt like it was just too hot outside to walk your dog?
To make sure you’re keeping your dog safe — and his paws free from burns or irritation — it’s important to know how to tell when it actually is too dangerous to take your dog on a walk.
The Dodo spoke to Dr. Jessica Romine, a veterinarian at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Southfield, Michigan, to get some answers and tips to make sure your walks are always safe — and fun — for you and your pup.
How to test if it’s too hot out to walk your dog
According to Dr. Romine, there’s a simple test you can do to check if it’s too hot out to walk — and all you need is your hand.
“A good rule of thumb is to place your hand on the sidewalk or asphalt for 5 seconds; if it becomes uncomfortable to the touch, it is probably also uncomfortable for your dog to walk on,” Dr. Romine told The Dodo.
Signs your dog is uncomfortable
If you do need to take a walk on a hot day — or if it starts to heat up after you’ve already left home — keep a close eye on your pup.
“Dogs can suffer burns from very hot surfaces, usually in direct sunlight,” Dr. Romine said.
Signs to look out for include your dog starting to slow down or limp, or not wanting to keep walking.
If this happens, Dr. Romine recommends “checking their paw pads for tenderness, redness, or erosions and try[ing] to get them into the grass or at least shade.”
“If you dog tolerates them, they are a fine option,” Dr. Romine said about protective products, “but remember that prolonged contact can still cause damage, and dogs still need to be monitored for signs of overheating.”
So in general, try to stick to the grass or at least the shade on your summer walks — and going out in the morning or evenings, when most surfaces aren’t in direct sun, will be much more comfortable for your dog.
(We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.)
I must say that is a good piece of advice about placing one’s hand on the sidewalk.
We are lucky here because there is only grass to play on but not everyone is so fortunate.
Dogs offer so much unconditional love: For their human pals; for their doggie pals; and so much more.
I was minded to write in this manner after just coming from the main bedroom next door and finding Brandy resting on the bed. It was a ‘grab the camera’ moment and take a few shots. Moments later Brandy had come down from the bed and was back in the main living room.
So here’s a recent article on The Dodo for you to enjoy.
Dog Shows Up At Front Door To Invite His Girlfriend On A Date
When Shelly Blount saw a post online last week about a dog who was about to be put down in North Carolina, she called the shelter immediately. To her relief, they told her the dog had just been adopted, but it got her thinking about the other dogs who might be in danger. She asked if there were other dogs scheduled to be put down and they told her a dog named Caleb was next on the list — so Blount got in her car.
Accompanied by a friend, Blount drove four hours from Virginia to the shelter, determined to rescue Caleb. When she arrived, she realized two other dogs were about to be put down as well. Despite having three other rescue dogs already at home, Blount suddenly knew what she had to do.
“I asked the limit on how many you could adopt,” Blount told The Dodo. “They said there wasn’t one. So I decided to get all three.”
Blount had arrived at the shelter that day expecting to leave with just Caleb — and instead she left with Caleb, Charisma and Bella.
As they began the long drive home, all three dogs were so excited and couldn’t contain their happiness, and Blount knew she had absolutely done the right thing.
“Caleb was sooo excited — kept giving kisses from the back seat, and his tail was wagging so fast,” Blount said. “Bella was so content being held so she sat in my friend’s lap and literally didn’t move. Charisma, my sweet little angel, was literally hugging me and slept the entire ride.”
When Blount decided to adopt all three dogs, she hadn’t really had a plan. She knew she couldn’t leave them at the shelter to be put down, but she also didn’t have room for three more dogs at home — but luckily, within days, she’d already found the best new homes for both Caleb and Bella.
“Caleb is super happy in his new home with a friend of mine,” Blount said. “She has another Lab who he loves. Bella went to my boyfriend and let’s just say they are inseparable.”
Blount is likely going to keep Charisma, as the pair have bonded quite a bit in the days since the rescue. Either way, Charisma would need to stay with Blount for a while — because after a vet visit, she realized the sweet little dog was pregnant.
No one at the shelter had told Blount that Charisma was pregnant with five to six puppies, and later said they hadn’t known. Not only did Blount save Charisma that day, but she also saved the lives of her puppies, and for that Charisma is continuously grateful.
“My Charisma girl is very attached to me and we take lots of cat naps because she’s so sleepy,” Blount said.
Charisma is due to give birth within the next week, and her new family is so excited for her. In the meantime, she’s enjoying spending lots of time cuddling with her new mom and best friend, thanking her every day for saving her life.
Shelley is a real star and, indeed, so are all the other people that rescue dogs.
At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, and I don’t intend to, here’s a photograph from home to finish today’s post.
Yesterday morning, well before 7am, we let all the dogs out for their morning walks, smells and ablutions! They are let out on our property.
Ten minutes later all of them were back home save one: Brandy!
Then followed a good couple of hours while I, and then later Jeannie and I, walked the entire property, all 13 acres, looking for Brandy. To no avail. He appeared to have disappeared. It’s not helped by the fact that Brandy has poor hearing and can’t really hear calls more than thirty feet away.
At one point I went out with Cleo, our GSD, who has a supreme sense of smell and excellent hearing, to look for Brandy. No luck!
I was getting very stressed and while Brandy at times does go for a walk on his own he had never been gone for this long.
Well eventually, with the help of our new neighbours, we located Brandy and, in time, got him back in the house. The only way off the property is via Bummer Creek, which flows across our property, under a bridge built on our driveway, that is not fenced. Only Brandy sometimes takes a stroll down the creek. Brandy had done so this morning and ended up past our neighbours property, a good quarter mile or more downstream.
It was then time to go across and thank our neighbours for their help. I was invited in for a coffee and also spent time with the eight-year-old, soon to be nine, chatting about this and that, and, towards the end of the coffee, about writing!
This was lovely and I said that if aforesaid young man was to write a story about one of their two dogs I would love to feature it as a guest post in this place!
Then when I came home I was thinking more about encouraging the young man to write some more and came across the following. I trust it is OK to republish.
Creative writing techniques for kids: a step-by-step guide to writing a story
Encouraging children to write a story of their very own can give them an enormous confidence boost, as well as help them consolidate their literacy learning by putting their phonics, grammar and reading skills into practice. Primary teacher Phoebe Doyle offers parents tips on how to get their children’s creative thoughts flowing.
The way literacy is taught in primary schools has changed radically in the last couple of decades; when I was at school in the 80s we copied from blackboards, had whole hours of handwriting practice and sweated over spellings without any formal teaching of phonics whatsoever. While I think the more structured approach to literacy teaching we see in classrooms today makes learning more fun and accessible, my one worry is that there’s little time left for writing creatively.
When I was at school I adored writing stories – even stories with chapters and illustrations. I know my author brother did too – we found some of his old stories a few years back, and I felt so pleased he’d had the time to write these endless pages of action, adventure, characterisation and twisting plotlines.
As a primary teacher I ensured I would have a week each term when, during literacy sessions, we would focus solely on creating stories. I wasn’t deviating from the curriculum – far from it. During this week children would be consolidating their learning of phonics and be ‘writing for purpose’, considering carefully the aspects of story and who their audience might be.
It may very well be that your children write stories at home regardless of whether they’re required to for school, because most children have a seemingly natural urge to want to do so from time to time. This is just a little guidance on how you can support them and encourage a more structured approach to their story writing.
Firstly, ask your child where the story is going to take place. It could be somewhere fictional or real, it could be a planet, a country, a town or a house – anywhere!
Then, ask when the story is taking place – now? In the future? In the past?
Finally ask what they think is going to happen. Remember that this doesn’t have to be accurate and they don’t have to stick to what they say; many of the best writers say that their plots develop organically as they write. If they do have a firm idea of where they want to go with the plot, though, they can create an outline by completing a story planner, which could look something like this:
Ask your child who is going to be in the story. How do they want their readers to feel about each character? Again, they may want to jot some ideas down. You could make a table for them to help them organise their thoughts, with these headings:
Name of character
Relationship to other characters
What he/she looks like
Ask your child to think of some fabulous words to use in their story writing. They might be long words or simple ones, or they might be great descriptive words or words that help create pace and tension. Encourage them to jot these down and refer to the list as they write their story.
All writers know that you’ve got to capture the attention of your readers right from the start; you want to make them desperate to read on. Ask your child to think of some good story openers that’ll entice people to find out more. Here are a few examples:
First sentences that are mysterious…
Molly had no sense of the day that lay ahead.
Story starters that use language tricks like alliteration…
It was damp, dark and dreadfully dusty when Molly entered the house.
Story openers that create tension…
Molly could hear her heart beating faster than ever before. Could this really be happening?
Stories that go straight into dialogue…
“But I don’t want to go to school, Mummy,” groaned Molly.
Encourage your child to look at some of the books they like to read and see how they begin in order to offer inspiration.
Once they’ve got all of these ideas in place, they can start writing. They could do a draft in the first instance and then a neat, polished version later. They may wish to write in short chapters, use illustrations, or make their own book to write in – let them use their imagination and creativity when it comes to presentation, and make sure you show how much you value the end product by keeping it to read again with the other books in your house.