With summer in full swing, the days grow longer and the temperatures become pleasant enough to spend more time outdoors, especially with your dog. Summer promises the perfect backdrop for hiking, jogging, walks, and playing in the garden.
Sometimes, however, summer throws a curveball with an unusually hot day. On those unusually hot – or even just warmer than normal – days, you’ll likely seek the comfort of a fan or a cool spot. Your dog will likely do the same.
Dogs are also adversely affected by the heat. Their paws can easily become burned on hot pavement. They can suffer from heatstroke, which can be and often is fatal. And, they may become sluggish and drink much more water than normal.
Those hot or warmer than normal days mean you should shake up your dog’s normal walking routine. If you normally walk your dog in the middle of the day – when the sun is generally at its hottest – you will probably want to forgo that normal routine.
Instead, walk your dog early in the day before the sun becomes too hot and the temperature goes too high and again in the evening when the sun is setting. Those are usually the coolest parts of the day and the most comfortable for pets with fur.
However, if you must go for a walk during a hot afternoon, keep the following in mind:
- Take plenty of cool water for both you and for your dog to drink.
- Try to walk in a shaded area so your dog doesn’t become too hot in the sun. The sun can quickly cause your dog to suffer from heatstroke.
- Walk in a grassy area instead of on pavement to avoid your dog burning his paws.
- Take breaks as necessary to allow your dog to take a drink and to cool down.
Keep an eye on your dog when it’s hot to make sure he is okay. If he appears sluggish or starts panting, you may want to cut the walk short just to be safe.
Your best bet on those rare unusually hot days is to either walk in the early morning or in the evening. Or, if you can’t do that, help your dog expend his excess energy with a good play session in the house instead of exposing him to the heat of the day and to possible heatstroke.