Our furry best friends usually have thick fur coats, and the summer heat can be pretty unpleasant for them. Warm summer days usually require a change in your daily walking routine. When a dog gets exposed to high temperatures, direct sun, and exhausting exercises, it can lead to a dangerous condition called heat stroke. The dangers of walking dogs in heat are numerous, but a heat stroke is one of the most devastating scenarios. A heat stroke often ends fatally, so every dog owner needs to learn about all precaution measurements they can take to keep their pets safe.
Although all dogs are sustainable to heat, the risk is higher for older dogs, dogs with health conditions, as well as for dogs with shorter snouts. However, any dog can get hit by a heat stroke.
Some of the symptoms of a heat stroke include fast panting and excessive drooling, inability to walk, or walking slower, trying to lay down or desperately seeking shade. You can notice all the signs if you pay careful attention to your dog, but knowing how to stop them from occurring is an even better option.
Top 13 Most Important Tips for Walking Your Dog In The Summer
1. Schedule Your Timing Right
Make sure to time your daily walks so that you don’t go out during midday heat. No matter how hot or warm the summer gets, the best time to walk a dog in hot weather is before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. The point is in avoiding the hottest part of the day during peak sun hours and not having the sun blaze directly over your heads. Since the color black absorbs heat, black dogs are more prone to feeling the negative effects of midday summer heat. Making sure you avoid the hottest hours will keep everyone happy.
2. Don’t Go Out When It’s Too Hot
Knowing when hot is too hot is important. Everyone knows about the danger of leaving your dog in a closed car in the heat, but little people know that outdoor activities in the hot sun can be devastating, too. Learn to recognize when the weather is too hot for your dog. You can start by checking the warmth of the pavement: place your bare hand on it and try to keep it there for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for your palm- it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
3. Bring Water
Dogs usually need hydration during summer walks, especially if those walks are longer than 20 minutes. Make sure to bring a bottle of freshwater and a foldable water bowl for dogs. You may find the bowls at any pet shop. A decent size water bottle can help as long as it is not too heavy.
Due to the fact many dogs are suspicious of unknown bowls, make sure to introduce the bowl while you’re still at home. Give your dog enough time to familiarize himself with the bowl, so he doesn’t hesitate to use it during long summer walks.
4. Find the Shade and Keep it Close
If you walk your dog every day during all seasons, you know that the sun rays can make or break a nice walk. During winter strolls, it usually feels better for you and your dog if you bring your walk to the sunniest side of the street. However, when the hot summer sun comes out, opting for the shady side may help keep your dog safe. Remember that the shade changes places during the day and try to always walk your dog down streets and pavements that offer thick, cooling shade.
5. Pay Extra Attention to Flat-faced and Senior Dogs
Dog breeds with flat or pushed-in faces, such as French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston Terriers are more prone to overheating compared to other breeds. Their unique features and specific anatomy with pinched nostrils and an extremely narrow windpipe make it challenging for these dogs to cool themselves. Pet owners with flat-faced dogs need to pay extra attention to their furry buddies during hot summer days.
Senior dogs and dogs with health conditions are also at serious risk of overheating and need extra precaution because of their specific needs. If a pooch refuses to walk on a daily bases, then this could mean more health concerns for the pet owner later on. We believe it is important for early dog training sections.
6. Keep a Slow Pace
Even if you normally develop remarkable speed when you walk your dog, and even if both of you enjoy some potent exercise, it’s best to keep your pace down during hot weather. Warm summer days are best for allowing your dog to sniff around. While keeping a slow pace may seem like it may bore the dog, it gives him some space to discover and explore new smells. Sniffing and exploring is way safer than walking at a fast pace during hot weather, and it gives the dog some mental stimulation, which is just as necessary as physical exercise.
7. Beware of Hot Surfaces
Even if you check the pavement in front of your house and decide it’s safe enough to walk your dog without hurting his paws, other surfaces you walk over may be too hot for him. Moreover, dogs are closer to the ground than us humans and are more susceptible to the warmth that radiates from hot pavements. Make sure to keep your dog on a grassy path whenever possible. Even letting him walk on dirt is a better idea than hot concrete that’s been exposed to direct sunlight all day long.
8. Make Time for Pauses
Your dog will probably instinctively know when it’s time to slow down or pause during a walk. In those moments, dogs usually seek shade and try to lay down, or they slow down and start sniffing around instead of walking. Other dogs stick their tongues out and keep moving. Explain to your pet sit or dog, walkers the importance of letting your dog take a pause.
It’s very important to recognize when your dog needs his rest and make a pause during a long summer walk. Define shady spots along your everyday route that would be perfect for a short pause to offer your dog some water and encourage him to stretch out on a piece of grass for several minutes.
9. Protect the Dog from Fleas and Ticks
The hot weather brings various pests like ticks and fleas. Typically lurking in the grass or bushes, they have a way of quickly turning fun dog walks into uncomfortable situations. Ask your veterinarian for a prescription tick and flea treatment that will keep your dog safe during the summer months.
There are many over-the-counter tick and flea solutions available so you can choose the one that fits your needs perfectly. Controlling a flea outbreak is extremely popular among top pet safety tips. Read our flea and ticks dog articles for more information.
10. Monitor Your Dog’s Activity
How can you tell if a dog has reached an unsafe level of fatigue unless you pay attention to the activity levels of your dog? Keeping an eye on your dog’s activity is crucial to avoid overheating during the summer months. The telltale signs of overheating include fast panting, as well as increased drooling, and actively seeking shade.
Some owners use activity monitors with dog tracking collars to monitor their pets. Activity monitors for cats and dogs have been available on the market for quite some time. They enable you to track your pet’s activity levels in real-time and promptly avoid overheating. Purchasing such a device is a smart way of beating the heat.
11. Apply Sunscreen
Don’t forget to always apply sunscreen before you go out with your dog – and if your dog has exposed skin, you should apply sunscreen to him, too. Many dogs have thin hair that leaves the skin prone to sunburns or pad burn. Dogs and puppies with tender, thin hair can benefit from a sunscreen made specifically for dogs. If you own a breed that’s prone to sunburns, you should always apply sunscreen to protect your pup and bring it along to reapply during the walk.
12. Cooler Alternatives to Walking
Sometimes, the heat is overwhelming, and your timing doesn’t allow you to take the dog out late afternoon or early in the morning. During those times, it’s still important to provide your dog with proper exercise, even if it doesn’t include walking. You can go swimming in safe lakes or pools, or try playing a slow-paced game of fetch or ball inside. Choose an activity that keeps the fun without the risks brought by the hot summer sun or hurting the dogs feet.
13. Remember to Have Fun!
Walking dogs in summer hot days is an amazing way to spend some quality time outdoors and enjoy your furry friend’s company, so don’t forget to have fun. Take breaks to enjoy a quick fetching game or have a picnic with your dog. Let him sniff around and enjoy a leisurely walk with hundreds of new, interesting smells. Dogs like a pit bull and German Sheppard are natural explorers, and they always enjoy some mental stimulation. Letting your pup sniff around during the walk will let him nurture his instincts in a fun, exciting way.
When it comes to walking your pooch in the summer heat, tips for pet will only help if you are a dedicated owner who wants to make sure his pup is safe. Keeping an eye on your dog and staying focused on your walk is half the job done. Don’t be one of those owners who keep their eyes glued to the phone when you take your pooch out for a walk, especially during the summer months. Enjoy your time out together and make the most of every walk, alternatively if you can’t handle the heat well, you can always consider hiring a dog walking agency.
Wrapping It Up
Remember that a dog treat is great to give to your pet as an incentive. Dog walkers are becoming popular since most of us have a complicated agenda to follow. During the summer, that is always a great time to take your pooch for a walk. However, if you decide to do so, it is important for all pet parents to keep their dog cool and safe at all times.
Ask your pet sitters and dog walkers to take it easy with your pooch to avoid any accidents. Heat stroke in dogs is very common during summer times, so take precautions. Another fun activity that you can do at the beach is dog boarding. For any dog or cat breed, summer safety comes first. Sometimes it is better to keep your pooch in if it is too hot to walk.
If your pooch shows symptoms and treatment is too expensive, consider getting a pet insurance policy to get them the best treatment possible. Also, pet adoptions are always a possibility if you are undergoing a financial stress situation. Hope that you liked our pet safety tips, for more information read more posts on our dogs and cats blog.
Hi! I’m Karen and a certified dog lover. As a freelance writer and blogger, I do my best to squeeze in some time with my dogs, learning more about the way they act and how I can make sure that they continue to stay well-cared for by yours truly.
My dogs have helped me through a lot, and this is my way of giving back to them! Besides animals, I also love to travel and cook, having explored my country’s restaurants and unique places. Follow me as I show you all the amazing tips and bits of information I learn along the way about our furry friends!