Vet Shares Must-Know Warning for Pet Owners on Hot Days

As the temperatures get hotter, a veterinarian took to TikTok to share an important piece of advice for pet owners to be aware of when they take their dog for a walk.

Dr. Sarah Cortright posted the video to her Instagram and TikTok account @dr.sarah.cortright where it amassed more than one million views since it was shared.

Many viewers voiced their appreciation for the clip, which urged dog owners to test the temperature of the ground that they are walking on.

Cortright told Newsweek in an email that some of the most common reasons she treats animals in the summer include heat stroke, flea and tick infestations and burns from a hot ground.

Dog Walking
A veterinarian shared an important point for pet owners to be aware of when they take their dogs for a walk on a hot day. Above, a stock image of a dog out for a walk. alexei_tm/iStock

She explained that owners should avoid taking their pets outside during the hottest point of the day, and they should never be left outside or in a small space unattended.

Booties can help protect dogs' feet if they cannot avoid hot surfaces, but some are still prone to developing a heat-related illness.

According to the American Red Cross, there are several points pet owners should consider during the warmer months of the year, including never leaving pets in a hot car, watching pets at barbecues and monitoring for symptoms of heat stroke.

Some symptoms of a heat stroke include heavy panting and the inability to calm down, a fast pulse and a brick red gum color. Owners who believe their pet may have heat stroke should take their temperature rectally.

"If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal down," the organization recommended. "The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees."

In her video, Cortright said people walking their dogs should test the temperature of the ground before allowing their pet to walk on it.

She stopped at a road and placed her hand on it.

Can you hold your hand on the pavement for five to seven seconds?
Sarah Cortright

"Can you hold your hand on the pavement for five to seven seconds?" Cortright asked as she pulled her hand away from the road and shook it. "I can't. It's only about 80 degrees here today, which means the pavement temperature can be up to 125 degrees and not safe for your pet."

Another tip that Cortright highlighted for pet owners includes being aware of pets during picnics.

"Vets see higher incidences of gastrointestinal issues from dogs eating things they shouldn't," she explained. "This includes foreign objects like corn cobs, fatty foods which can lead to pancreatitis, and exposure to common toxins like grapes or raisins."

And, the Fourth of July can be stressful for pets. If they need anti-anxiety medication, pet owners are encouraged to get it filled as soon as possible.

TikToker Takeaways

Viewers shared their thoughts on the tip and pet safety when it is hot outside.

"This is why my dog wears shoes in the spring/summer," a TikTok user shared.

I live in vegas and it frustrates me so much to see people NOT have booties on their pups when it gets 100+ out here.
TikTok commenter

"I live in vegas and it frustrates me so much to see people NOT have booties on their pups when it gets 100+ out here," another wrote.

One commented that owners can consider walking their dog on grass.

"Absolutely!" Cortright responded. "Grass or dirt [trails] are a much better alternative."

A viewer also shared that it was important for owners not to leave their dogs in the car, even if it is a cloudy day, while another wrote that they avoid the heat by taking their dogs for a walk early in the morning or late at night.

"If you can't walk barefoot on the pavement what makes people think their dogs would be [OK]?" a TikTok user wrote.

Other posts have gone viral as it relates to pet care.

A woman shared a now-viral video showing the balloons attached to her chihuahuas as a way for her to know where they are at all times.

Another video revealed tips and tricks for people traveling with a cat, while one owner shared how he managed to get his dog's attention after he was ignored.