Hot Tips to Keep Your River Dog Cool: Can My Dog Get A Sunburn?

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Are trails safer than pavement? Can my dog really get burned on my car seats? How long does it take for damage to occur on hot surfaces? Can my dog get a sunburn?

Veterinarians in the area have been inundated this summer with dogs experiencing heat exhaustion and burned paws.  We invited Officer Geckler and Officer Giovanetti from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office to come down to one of our favorite river crossings–Highway 49–and give us a few quick tips on protecting our pets when visiting the river. 

Click on the video above to learn more!

What factors should I consider when deciding whether or not to bring my dog to the river?

Outdoor temperatures, surface temperatures and UV index are all factors to consider before heading to the river with your furry friend. Hot cars, pavement, and trails can all cause burns and turn your trip to the river into a trip to the vet’s office.

Outdoor Temperatures: Air temperatures are only one small piece of information needed to make a decisions about whether or not to bring your dog. Other factors to consider include: the color of your dog’s coat, the thickness of their coat, and the breed (some dogs are less heat tolerant than others).

Surface Temperatures: Do the math before your hike! Surfaces can reach 40-60°  hotter than outside/ambient temperatures. 

Trails can be hotter than pavement. In the video, Officer Geckler measures the temperature on the sand to be almost 125°F while minutes prior the blacktop measured closer to 110°F.

Also, be careful when loading your dog into your car if you have vinyl or leather seats, as these surfaces can reach 170°F and burn your dog when they jump in.  It only takes 60 seconds at 125°F for damage to occur to a dog’s paws.

UV Index: Dogs can get sunburned most notably in areas of the belly, chest, tips of the ears, and bridge of the nose. Keeping them out of direct sunlight during the middle of the day can help prevent damage.

Consider skipping the dip with your dog during the hottest parts of the day: 10am-3pm. Choose times early in the morning or go later in the evening.

Kiska enjoying the Yuba on a hot day
Can My Dog Get A Sunburn
Hayduke enjoying the water and the view
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