With the weather getting warmer, our dog walks are becoming more enjoyable, but when is it too hot to walk our dogs? How can you tell and what can you do to make the warm weather more comfortable? Let’s take a look.
Walks for Dogs in Hot Weather
Dogs love walks and we love giving them that time to run about, be daft and burn off their energy. Hot summer days can make that difficult and also pose some health concerns for our dogs.
The biggest culprit for hot weather injuries is the pavement. When the air temperature is 25°C the temperature of the tarmac can be well over 50°C. That is not good for pooch paws! Testing the pavement is easy. Touch the back of your hand against the ground and if you cannot hold it there for 5 seconds, it is too hot for your dog. Sand is also another surface that heats up quickly and retains its heat for long periods. Beware if you are going to the beach and have a bottle of water close by to keep those paws cool.
The best time of day to walk is early morning before the temperature increases and later in the evening when the temperature is starting to cool. If you are going somewhere with heavy shade such as woodland, you can walk at any time of the day, but make sure you make plenty of stops for water and a rest.
Heatstroke in Dogs
Every owners worst nightmare in summer – heatstroke. Dogs do not have sweat glands like we do and can only lose heat through their feet and ears or by panting. Exercising your dog in the middle of the day and for long periods can drastically increase the risk of heatstroke.
How do you spot it? The signs of heatstroke are:
- heavy panting
- excessive drooling
- drowsiness or lethargy
- uncoordinated movement
A dog can die from untreated heatstroke within 20 minutes, so it is vital that we make our dog walks as safe as possible. Choosing places with water will give dogs the chance to cool off. Alternatively, buy a dog water bottle on Amazon and carry it with you when you go out with your dog.
COLAPZ is a British company that have a full range of eco-friendly pet products. This water bottle is a great gadget for walks as it comes with a belt clip to make carrying simple. The BPA free silicone cover folds upwards around the neck of the bottle to form a neat bowl.
Or how about this dual food and water bottle by Matt Saga! The bottle contains one compartment for dry food and another compartment for water. The top has a mess lid to prevent food from going into both compartments. You don’t need to worry about bowls either as this bottle comes with two BPA-free collapsible bowls!
Stay Cool At Home
Walks aren’t the only time a dog might be affected by the hot weather. There are lots of ways you can help your dog stay cool and comfortable at home.
Doggy paddling pools are perfect for a cooling splash in the garden. Forever Speed sell a great low-sided pool designed especially for dogs.
The eco-friendly PVC material is kind to the environment and not harmful for pets. The low sides make for easy access, so your dog is not at risk of injury. It comes in two sizes: 80x20cm or 120x30cm.
Other options include cooling mats, jackets and water bowls. You can also make ice cube treats for your dogs by adding little pieces of meat, fruit or veggies to an ice cube tray and topping off with water.