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This year, I’m very excited that BlogPaws 2016 will be held in what is essentially my backyard.

As a person who has been in Arizona for over thirty years, I feel like I can call myself a native of the state (or as close as most native Arizonians, anyhow) and I’m very happy I'll be able to not only attend the event, but maybe even show off our beautiful state a bit.

However, I don’t know that everyone is as prepared as they should be for our summer heat. So I’m taking it upon myself to help you prepare your pets.

This post is going to sound very alarmist, but it doesn't matter how many ways I edit it, it will still sound that way. This is merely an attempt to educate you about some of our desert dangers so you can stay alert and be prepared.

And to round it out, I'm listing some really fun "insider tips" on fun things you can do while you're here!

 

The Heat of Arizona

While you're in Arizona, you can expect breathtaking sunrises, incredibly beautiful sunsets and skies so clear you can see every stars and planets without aid of a telescope.

You can also expect temps so hot that they will take your breath away, pavement and asphalt temps in excess of 170 degrees (capable of giving you a contact burn in less than 15 seconds). If you're lucky, a desert breeze will come through to cool you down. But that same breeze will make you feel like your skin is coming off - and that’s if you’re accustomed to our dry heat.

But, let's be honest. After we hit 100 degrees, it just doesn't matter a whole lot. Bottom line is that it's still hot. During your week here, you can plan on a high temp of around 110 and evenings that cool down to the low-80s (they'll be in the 80s about 4 am the next morning, which is why I'm an early riser).

But, hey, it's a dry heat (hahaha).

Just be sure your pets are ready for it as well. That means any walking should be done in late evening or VERY early morning. But don’t worry - our sunrises will make you WANT to get up early! Do NOT walk your dog across the parking lot, or take them on a hike without proper paw protection (more on that in a moment). 

Cats are sensitive to the heat and will display their discomfort by panting and restlessness. Brachycephalic dogs have a very low tolerance to our heat as it makes it even more difficult to breathe. Add an ice pack under the mattress pad when traveling to/from the airport. Our heat is nothing to mess around.

Your dogs can gain extra electrolytes through sports drinks like Rehydrate.

Also remember to stay well-hydrated (but be aware that too much water can cause water toxicity, which you can read about here).  Bring along a Gatorade or Pedialyte drink, or even have some juice, if you're spending time outdoors or at the pool. The Green Pet Shop offers an excellent Cooling Pad that we've found effective for use indoors - these are great for strollers or carriers.

 

 

And our amazing sunsets will make you want to take a mid-afternoon siesta so you can enjoy our nice evenings...

 

 

 

Protecting Pets Paws and Skin

The really good news is that you won’t have to worry a lot about the heat because you’ll be indoors the majority of the time. {By the way, bring a sweater because they really do keep the casinos cold (to make sure you're awake to gamble).}

Protect your pet's skin from high UV rays. For the tips of ears and noses, you use Titanium Dioxide which physically blocks harmful rays rather than relying on chemicals to block rays. You will need to be very cautious if you have other pets, or if you apply it to an area that your pet can reach, as it can be harmful if licked.

It's important to protect your pets skin if they like lounging near the windows (which amplifies the rays) or if you decide to meander around the extensive grounds. This is the only sunscreen for dogs that we recommend:

 

You will need to go outside on occasion - like walking to a potty area, walking to your car, and any outdoor time you have at all.

Asphalt averages a temperature of 30-40 degrees more than the air temperature. If the air temperature is 110, you can plan on asphalt being at least 160-180 degrees. Contact burns happen in seconds at this temperature.

Burns occur when pavement temp reaches 120° (that can happen when air temp is just 92 degrees in Florida, or as low as 85 degrees in Arizona since we're so dry). Since we have reached an air temp of 110, you can imagine how hot our streets get. The good news is that our average humidity is about 3 percent, so you'll cool off quickly.

  • 120°F: the initial pain threshold for direct skin contact without permanent damage.
  • 140°F: burns, permanent damage, and scarring appear after one minute contact .
  • 150°F: rapid burns and blistering.

Here is a chart for the pavement of surface temperatures in Florida - add 10 degrees on average for AZ:

© HOW HOT IS THAT SIDEWALK? Marcia Breithaupt, 2010

 

For that reason, you do not want to walk your dog on the pavement from around 8 am - 8 pm.

 Keeping your pets paws safe is simple to do, but you need to do it. You will NOT be able to walk your dog across the hot parking lot to get into the casino.And as much as I appreciate the efforts to keep sidewalks cool for pets with mist systems (it does help a little), there is still an excellent chance you're going to have burned paws if you don't have your pets wear boots.

Here are a few of our tricks for keeping our pets paws free of burns.

  • Boots: Hard cover are the only way to go when you have to do a lot of walking. Be sure your pets get a pair that doesn't rub on the dew claw (if they have a dew claw) and be sure they can keep them on while walking. (NOTE: While we love them, the Pawz waterproof boots will not do much to help your pets in these conditions)
  • Woodrow Wear: These are our most favorite socks for dogs. You never have to worry about them falling off (common with boots) and they give your pets some extra protection when you're making a run for the lawn. They are not strong enough to protect for walks on asphalt or sidewalks, but great for our slick tile floors.
  • Paw Pads: These are great for boats and better than nothing for asphalt. They're a little more difficult to put on your pets and not all pets can keep them on.

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