BEND, OR -- It will be pushing 100-degrees when thousands of pets march with their people through downtown Bend for the 4th of July Pet Parade. If you plan to take Fido to the parade, you’re going to want to take some sensible precautions.
Lynne Ouchida, with the Humane Society of Central Oregon, tells KBND News the parade isn't right for everyone. “If you are a person who has a senior, obese, short-muzzled dog, or northern breed dog, and you have thoughts of going down to the 4th of July Pet Parade, we strongly discourage you from doing that. Those types of animals, particularly dogs, are going to be susceptible to the extreme heat that is expected on the 4th of July.”
With highs expected in the upper 90s, asphalt temperatures could be around 140-degrees. Ouchida says dogs cannot cool off like we can. “Dogs have very poor cooling systems and so they cool off by panting. But when they’re that close to the asphalt and it’s 140-degrees, say, they are breathing in 140-degree temperatures and they’re not able to cool themselves down efficiently. Dogs only sweat through their paws, and they’re sweating on to that high temperature asphalt as well”. She suggests using winter snow booties to protect their pads.
Excessive panting, drooling, and agitation can indicate heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Dogs cool off through the mouth, so make sure you have ice-cold water on hand. If your pet shows signs of heat exhaustion, step out of the parade. A veterinarian and water will be on hand at the parade staging area. Staging begins at 9 a.m., Saturday's parade begins at 10 a.m.