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How to Safely Walk Your Dog When Its Hot Out

How to Safely Walk Your Dog When Its Hot Out

Beating the Heat with Your Furry Friend

It’s a scorching summer day, and you’re itching to take your pup on their daily stroll. But as the sun beats down mercilessly, you can’t help but wonder – is it really safe to venture out with them in this weather? Well, my fellow dog lovers, fear not! I’ve got your back (and your dog’s) with a comprehensive guide on how to keep your canine companion cool, comfortable, and safe when the temperatures soar.

Timing is Everything

One of the most important things to remember when walking your dog in hot weather is to avoid the midday sun at all costs. Just like us, our four-legged friends are susceptible to the dangers of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and the intense rays of the sun during the hottest hours of the day can be downright deadly. Instead, I recommend sticking to the early morning and late evening hours, when the temperature is much more manageable.

According to the PDSA, it’s best to walk your pup before 8am and after 5pm to keep them out of the scorching midday sun. And if you’ve got a fur baby with a particularly low heat tolerance, like a brachycephalic breed (think pugs, bulldogs, and French bulldogs), you may want to limit their outdoor time even further and stick to the cooler hours of the day.

Pavement Pride: The 5-Second Test

Now, let’s talk about the ground beneath your feet (or, more accurately, your dog’s paws). Those blazing hot sidewalks and scorching sand can do a number on your pup’s tender tootsies, so it’s crucial to check the temperature before heading out.

The experts recommend the “5-second test” – simply place the back of your hand on the ground for five seconds. If it’s too hot for you to keep it there comfortably, it’s way too toasty for your pup’s paws. In that case, it’s best to postpone your walk until the pavement has had a chance to cool down.

Keeping Cool and Hydrated

Of course, timing and pavement temperature aren’t the only factors to consider when walking your pup in the heat. Staying hydrated is also crucial, both for you and your furry friend.

As the Redditors in Austin pointed out, it’s a good idea to pack a collapsible water bowl and a bottle of fresh, cool water for your pup. That way, you can offer them a refreshing drink at regular intervals throughout your walk. And don’t forget to stay hydrated yourself – after all, a thirsty dog parent is no good to their canine companion!

Adjusting Your Routine

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But I can’t just ditch my dog’s daily walk! They need that exercise!” And you’re absolutely right. Our furry friends require regular physical activity to stay healthy and happy.

But as the experts at Madison Animal Care Hospital advise, it’s important to adjust the intensity and duration of your dog’s walks when the mercury rises. Instead of that long, strenuous hike you usually tackle, opt for a gentle stroll around the block or a few laps in the shaded areas of your local park. And if you really need to wear your pup out, save the high-intensity activities for the cooler hours of the day or consider some indoor fun, like a game of fetch or a puzzle toy session.

Keeping an Eye Out

No matter how carefully you plan and prepare, it’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on your canine companion for any signs of heat-related distress. According to the RSPCA, some key symptoms to watch out for include excessive panting, lethargy, and changes in gum color. If you notice any of these, it’s time to get your pup out of the heat and into a cool, shaded area immediately.

And remember, while your dog may be eager to jump in and cool off, not all bodies of water are safe for our four-legged friends. Before letting them take the plunge, make sure the area is dog-friendly and free of any hazards, and always keep a close eye on them.

Staying Safe, Staying Cool

Navigating the dog days of summer with your furry bestie can be a delicate balancing act, but with a little preparation and vigilance, you can ensure that your pup stays safe, comfortable, and happy no matter how high the mercury climbs.

So, the next time you’re itching to hit the pavement with your canine companion, remember to plan ahead, stay hydrated, and keep a close eye on them. And if you ever need a helping hand or some expert advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at I Have Dogs – we’re always here to lend a paw (or a few tips)!

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