A heat wave continues to build here in Metro Atlanta, with the majority of the month of July featuring temperatures at or above 90 degrees.

Hot temperatures will remain in the forecast for the next several days -- but will it be too hot to walk your dog?

Different breeds’ coat length and colors will dictate their comfort in hotter air temperatures. However, all dog owners (and adventure cat owners, for that matter!) should be aware that the surface temperatures will run much hotter than what the phone app may be telling you, especially in direct sun.

Surfaces made of concrete -- like a sidewalk or lighter pathway -- absorb the sun’s rays and store that heat. As a result, concrete surfaces may reach 105 degrees during an 80+ degree day, but they may reach as high as 140 degrees on a 95+ degree day.

But if you are walking your dog on a darker surface, like a road or darker paved trail, be aware that the asphalt is very efficient in absorbing the sun’s rays and re-emitting that heat. As a result, the surface temperature can climb as high as 130 degrees on an 80+ degree day, and as high as 155 degrees on a 90+ degree day.

Physical activity is just as important for your dog as it is for you, but keep an eye on the time of day and where your dog’s paws may be hitting the ground.

In addition, try to avoid the hours between 10am and 6pm, which are the hottest air temperature hours of the day. If you must walk your dog during this time, try to find shady areas where the ground is not exposed to direct sunlight.

You can also do a “temperature” check for your pup: Place the back of your hand on the ground for 5-10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your dog. Even with the thick padding on their paws, their skin is still susceptible to burning due to constant contact with the hot ground.

Share your temperature reports and dog photos with me!

Facebook: Christina Edwards WSB

Twitter: @ChristinaWSBwx

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