We all know that we should not keep a dog in a hot car with the windows rolled up, right? …but, on the way to the racing lanes, do you allow your dog to walk across the hot pavement? Are you aware that asphalt surfaces can reach 140*F?
The “License to Chill” Flyball Tournament held in Sandusky, OH this weekend started out in a Extreme Heat Warning by the National Weather Bureau. What this means is that outdoor exposure to such high temperatures and heat index levels in the triple digits was actually dangerous to human health. It’s even MORE dangerous to canine health because of their limited ability to cool themselves. Dogs cool themselves through panting and also through the pads of their feet but, these are the only surfaces their bodies can disperse excess heat.
By 3’00 pm on Saturday, the temperature had reached 98*F and the heat index was something like 110*F. The water in the cooling pools was actually tepid and everybody was suffering. A captain’s meeting was held and the group voted to suspend racing for two hours to everybody a chance to cool down and also to let the sun move to a better angle that was less punishing.
It was a good decision. By the time racing resumed in the afternoon, clouds moved in further diminishing the effect of the sun and the humidity had eased up.
I’m sure that the Sandusky event was not the only Flyball tournament affected by the extreme heat throughout the country. Weather forecasts indicate that something like 80% of the country is experencing extreme heat, drought conditions or both.
Play it safe. Drink plenty of water. Block out the sun with portable shade materials and E-Z Ups. Clean Run has silverized tarps that block the sun’s energy effectively. If the heat index gets too high, seek out air conditioning. Hosting Clubs should consider suspending racing during the hottest portion of the day.
…and carry your dog when crossing hot asphalt. He will race better and love you for it!