Summer is upon us, bringing with it long hot days and long cool drinks. You know what else it brings? Hot dogs… and we’re not talking the summer staple, BBQing kind! All puns aside, when your dog overheats, it’s more than just a comfort issue. Keep your dog safe under scorching summer skies with these top 10 summer dog walking tips.
1. Stay hydrated
Carry cool fresh water wherever you go, whenever you go. Your pup generally needs to slurp an ounce of water per pound of bodyweight every single day. This number increases in hot weather or with extra exercise.
2. Know when to go
Walk early morning and late evening to avoid dangerous heat, hot pavement, and scorched paws. If you wouldn’t walk barefoot on it, your pup shouldn’t either.
3. Believe the hot car hype
Think it’s safe to leave Rover in your Rover for just a few minutes while you grab a quick post-walk iced coffee? Think again. According to a journal Temperature study, the temperature inside a car parked in the sun on a day that reached 35℃/95℉, hit an average of 47℃/116℉ within one hour. Even more sobering, 80% of the increase in the vehicle’s inside temperature happened in the first 10 minutes. Parked in the shade, the same car still cranked up to 38℃/100℉ within minutes, and cracking the windows made almost zero difference to these statistics. In other words, unless you can safely leave your car running with the A/C blasting, it’s never a good idea to leave your dog in your car.
4. Protect against parasites
‘Tis the season for fleas and ticks to flourish. Keep these pesky parasites at bay, and your dog safe from the extreme health hazards they pose, by using any one of the many effective flea and tick treatments available.
5. Be breed aware
Summer-proof your pup according to their breed. Fluffy Bernese Mountain Dog?! Invest in a cooling coat, collar, or bed – be puppared for lots of grateful cuddles! White haired Whippet? Apply doggie sunscreen! Flat-faced French Bulldog? Remember that shortened muzzles can make breathing and panting, which helps pups cool down, more difficult.
6. Be a little shady
Seek out walking and playtime routes that feature shade and water.
7. Stay indoors
Even better, keep your exercise and activities indoors with fun games! ‘Hide the treat’ offers a trio of doggie delight: exercise as your pup moves around the house, mental stimulation in the form of scent training, and some serious bond-building in the snack-sized shape of Tilted Barn Pet Co.’s delicious, wholesome Canadian Beef, Bacon, and Lamb treats.
8. Turn personal trainer
Use hot days to crank up the heat on your pup’s skills with some indoor behavioral training. Lying in place without barking when the doorbell rings, coming when called, and sit/stay for two or more minutes… all skills worthy of the best-behaved good boy or girl! (PS. Don’t forget to dial up their motivation with Tilted Barn Pet Co. high reward treats in Original and MiniWags sizes!)
9. Be smoke aware
Summer brings wildfires. Wildfires bring smoke. Smoke brings a whole host of potential health hazards for pets and pet parents, including respiratory issues, allergies and even asthma. If it’s smoky out, stay in.
10. Watch for signs
Watch for signs of overheating, dehydration and heatstroke, like excessive panting, lethargy, sticky gums, anxiety, vomiting, and lack of coordination. If you see any of these, call your veterinarian and get help.
Finally, know this: some dogs can develop life-threatening heatstroke in as little as 30 minutes. But with these summer dog walking safety tips, you and your furry best friend can enjoy the sunny season completely stress-free.
Animal Wellness is North America’s top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.