FORT SMITH (KFSM)- With near-triple digit heat, the Sebastian County Humane Society is warning dog owners about walking their pets on sidewalks and streets.
Humane Society Director Joann Barton said even 80 degrees is too hot for a dog to be walked on pavement.
Ariel Soukkaseum was out with her dogs Thursday (July 16) in Fort Smith. Soukkaseum said she will place the back of her hand on the pavement and if it is too hot for her, it is too hot for her dogs and she only allows them to play in the grass.
"Care for them like your kids,” Soukkaseum said.
Barton said dogs perspire through their feet.
"They cool off that way, so when they are hot and walking on the hot pavement at the same time they can't cool off like they normally want to,” she said.
Barton said she sees about two dogs a week with damaged paws and considers walking a dog on hot pavement animal abuse. She said dogs are more susceptible to burn their paws when they are wet. Signs of burnt paws can range from the dog limping, licking or chewing its feet to blisters or redness.
Barton said dogs also need to be hydrated and cool to avoid exhaustion or heat stroke.