Dog walking is incredibly important for your pet’s physical and mental wellbeing, as well as his emotional health. It exercises him, stimulates his mind, and enhances his life. But during summer, it can also be a health hazard.
Just like people, dogs can quickly suffer heatstroke (remember they have fur coats they can’t take off!). They can also burn their paws on hot pavement, and can pick up bindies and other nasties from grass.
Is it Too Hot to Walk your Dog?
This simple trick to determine whether the pavement is too hot for your dog’s paws will take just five seconds to do. Hold the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can’t comfortably hold it for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pooch’s paws.If the atmosphere is too hot for you to feel comfortable walking, it is going to be too hot for your dog.
Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs
• Excessive panting
• Difficulty breathing
• Increased heart rate
• Vomiting and diarrhoea; blood might be present
• Seizures of body rises to very high temperatures
If heatstroke occurs, cool your dog immediately with the hose or in a cool bath. Dry him in front of a fan or air conditioner, and take him to the vet promptly.
Tips for Dog Walking in summer
• Walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening. The ground and the air will be much cooler, guaranteeing a much more comfortable, pleasant walk.
• If it is extremely hot or humid, consider avoiding a walk for the day and instead stimulate your dog with some kind of game at home – under cover or indoors. Alternatively, take him for a swim!
• Try to walk a shady route, without as many hills for your dog to climb.
• Instead of a walk, take him to a dog park (as long as he is well socialised). He can run and play but rest when he needs to.
• Make sure your dog has access to fresh clean cool water at all times. Carry a water bottle and offer it to him regularly.
• If your dog has a long or thick coat, have it clipped for the summer.
• Never leave your dog in a vehicle alone, not even for a few moments.
Just as we struggle in the summer heat, so do our pets. If you’d not enjoy putting on a jacket and going out for a walk or a run, don’t inflict the same on your dog – wait until it cools down a little.