Hello all, can you believe it’s already June? That means it’s almost officially summer! With summertime brings heat, especially in Southern California. I wanted to give all those doggy parents out there some good tips on how to walk your dog on a hot day.
First, the best tip to take advantage of on those hot summer days is to go for early morning or late evening walks. The weather is a lot cooler during these times than taking walks during peak sun hours. Walking during these cooler hours gives your pup/s more energy to walk longer and reduces the risk of heatstroke or dehydration. If you’re finding yourself walking during peak sun due to time constraints or other reasons, it’s best to walk at a nice slow pace and keep water on you. Water is important to have on hand, so that you and your pup/s stay hydrated. Using an insulated water bottle ensures that you have cool water while on you’re on a walk. Also, try using a collapsible portable water bowl for your pup, it’s easy to carry and store when you’re ready to pick back up on the walk. Try to also walk where there is shade so that your pup/s have plenty of shade options, that way they can take breaks in a cool spot.
Always keep a good eye on your pup, you can usually see a shift in body language if your dog is uncomfortable or in pain. Dogs are good at giving us body language and being able to read it helps understand your pup. When a dog slows down or plops down, they are letting you know they aren’t up for the walk. Now some pups do this just because they simply don’t want to walk but if you’ve been walking a while and your pup begins to slow down or stop and lay down that is a sign they are tired and the walk should end. Of course, give your pup some time to cool down in a nice shady spot before heading on home especially if you are far from home.
For some dog parents they don’t realize that the heat of the concrete or asphalt can be too hot for your dogs’ paws, so always keep a good eye on your pup/s paws. Concrete and asphalt love to soak up heat and your dogs’ paws are exposed to the hot ground. This can cause burns on the paw pads which can be painful for them. You can always opt for dog boots or paw protectors to keep their paws healthy and happy! It’s best to check the ground with the back of your hand for a few seconds if you can keep it there comfortably then your pup should be okay to walk.
Always be mindful of dehydration and heatstroke while walking on hot days. It’s very important to know the signs of heatstroke and dehydration in dogs, because then you’ll be able to tell when your pup is in distress. The only way dogs can cool down is through panting, as they only perspire through their paw pads and noses, so it’s difficult for dogs to cool down if they are getting too hot. So, just always be mindful and watch out for excessive panting and drooling. In my next blog I will discuss the warning signs of heatstroke/overheating in dogs, so keep your eyes out for that!
Overall, these are some tips to help keep your dog comfortable for those summer walks. Remember to always be alert on your dog/s condition, if it’s to hot for you then it’s way to hot for your pup/s. So, just always be considerate and smart when taking your pup for a summer walk. I hope this summer treats you all well and stay cool my friends!