Summer is officially upon us! While this sunny season is loved by many, for our beloved canines, summer can be a struggle, with dehydration and heatstroke sky rocketing in the warmer temperatures. Below, we’ve rounded up our essential tips for walking your four-legged friend safely in the hot summer heat.
- Plan your walks around the thermometer. Opt for an early morning walk or later evening stroll to avoid peak sun. One tip: if a cool day presents itself, take advantage! The lower temperature will give Fido energy for a longer walk.
- Go slow, and bring water. On very hot days, keep the walk slower paced, with plenty of opportunities for your dog to rest in the shade or drink some water. This insulated water bottle for dogs includes a detachable bowl for easy drinking (and it’s important that you stay hydrated, too!).
- Be mindful of dehydration and heatstroke. Without sweat glands, dogs rely on panting to regulate their body temperature. Unfortunately, overheating can happen suddenly for dogs, and quite often. Read our previous blog post here on signs to watch out for heat stroke – plus ways to prevent it.
- Let your dog call the shots. Watch for body language. When there’s a thunderstorm, chances are your dog cowers in the frightening weather and wants to beeline for the door. Similarly, if temperatures have skyrocketed and your dog seems unenthused to walk at all, don’t push it. Let him relieve himself and head back inside.
- Check paws! Asphalt and concrete bake in the heat and can burn your pup’s paw pads. Luckily, there are many dog boots and paw protectors to keep your furry friend’s paws safe and happy. And here’s a nifty trick if you’re unsure about walking: place the back of your hand directly on the pavement. If you can keep it there comfortably for 5-10 seconds, you are in the clear.
- Try sunscreen. For dogs with shorter coats or bare spots that are susceptible to burn, dog-friendly sunscreen is a great resource for keeping your pup comfortable and safe in the sun.
- And lastly, never, ever leave your dog in the car. According to this website, it takes only fifteen minutes for a dog to experience brain damage in a hot car. It’s simply not worth the risk – leave your pup at home!