Our pets love to get outside in the warm weather as much as we do, but they can’t tell us when they are too hot. Dogs can’t regulate their temperature as easily as we can, and so they can overheat much faster. While they might seem fine one minute, the next they can be suffering from heat fatigue. That’s why it’s so important to follow the rules and keep them safe in the summer sun.
Walking at cooler times of day is the best way to combat the soaring temperatures that can occur in the summer. Mornings and evenings are best, and you can generally walk your dog as normal during these times without having to worry about him overheating too much. If you can’t get out at these times, hiring a summer dog walker might be a good alternative. This way, the walker can come at the time you want so your dog can be walked safely.
Check the Pavement
The summer heat might have lessened, but that doesn’t mean that the pavement is much cooler. Check the asphalt with your hand. If it’s too hot, then your dog’s paws are in danger of burning. A dog should still be able to walk on the grass without any issues, but you can also invest in boots to protect the pads of your dog’s feet.
Know Your Breed
Some dogs have a harder time in the sun than others. Brachycephalic dogs (that’s any breed with a squashed nose, such as a pug) will have a hard time breathing well in the heat and will need to be closely monitored. If your brachycephalic dog has particular trouble, then you might have to forego walks altogether. You know your dog best, but with these breeds it’s better to stay on the safe side of summer dog walking.
One walking tip for your dog’s health in the summer is skincare. Some breeds with less hair on their ears and faces will need sunscreen to protect them from the sun. Just like us, they can get badly burned, which is painful, uncomfortable, and can cause some serious lasting damage.
Dog walkers everywhere know about the importance of bringing water on a walk, but it’s doubly important during the summer months. Always bring a bottle with you, even if you are going somewhere that you know has a fountain. You can also get collapsible bowls if your dog is particular about how he drinks. Keeping your pooch well hydrated is essential, and it’s important to offer him a drink regularly.
Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car
Are you off to the park? If so, having your pets in an air-conditioned car for the journey isn’t going to bother them, but you can’t leave them in the car even for a minute. Temperatures soar in vehicles extremely quickly, and your pooch won’t be able to handle the sudden heat change that occurs. Make sure that if your dog is getting in the car, then he is not going to be left alone in there, even for even the shortest amount of time.
Get Plenty of Shade
If you are walking during a hot day, take a break in a shaded spot so your dog can recuperate. Being in the hot sun for too long isn’t a good idea for anyone, and your pooch will appreciate the rest before you walk back home. Make sure that there are plenty of shaded spots in your home or adequate AC for when you are out of the house so your dog can be comfortable.
You might be used to a long session of fetch when you are out with your dog, but it’s best to limit this as much as possible in the hot weather. Your dog might seem eager to run, but dehydration and heatstroke can come on very quickly. Don’t allow him to run too much outside unless it is during the cooler times of the day.
Observe Your Pet
One of the best dog-walking tips is simply to observe your dog’s behavior. You know when he’s not acting like himself. Symptoms of anxiety and lethargy are common with dogs who are suffering in the heat. If they are panting too much and actively seeking shaded areas, then it’s too warm for them, or they’ve had enough exercise for one day. If your dog starts vomiting or has a lack of coordination, it’s time to seek help from the vet, since dehydration or heatstroke can cause serious health problems.
There are a lot of easy ways that you can take care of your dog during the warm summer months. Walking in the hot weather can be dangerous for dogs, but most will still want to get out for some exercise when they can. Being careful and thinking everything through is key. Remember, if it’s too hot for you, then it’s going to be too hot for your dog as well!
Hi, I’m Gina from The Peaks Pet Nanny, and we’ve been caring for pets since 2004. Our Pet Nannies provide Professional Dog Walking, Dependable Pet Sitting and Overnight Pet Care, providing invaluable peace of mind. Our entire team of like-minded animal lovers is dedicated to the wellbeing of pets while their family travels for work or pleasure.