Warm, sunny weather has us wanting to spend lots of time outdoors. As dog owners we love spending this time outdoors exercising with our dogs. With hot weather comes too extra safety precautions that you need to be aware of in order to keep your dog safe and prevent heat related illnesses.
Ways You Can Help Keep Your Dog Safe This Summer:
1) Exercise early in the morning or late evening
- Exercise more during the cooler hours in the day and less at peak heat times in the middle of the afternoon.
2) Limit the duration and intensity of your dog’s exercise in the hot summer months.
- Break your exercise time down into more shorter sessions throughout the day
- Avoid running with your dog on very hot days
- Decrease your pace as your dog may get tired more quickly
3) Take more rest breaks in the shade to allow your dog to cool down.
- Take lots of breaks from the sun to prevent your dog from overheating
- Give your dog’s paws a break from the warm sidewalk or path by standing or sitting in the cool shaded grass.
4) Take frequent water breaks to prevent dehydration.
- Be sure to bring a full water bottle on your walk or walk your dog in a park that has dog water stations.
- Make sure you frequently stop to offer your dog water
5) Take your dog for walks in places that have a lake, pond or pool to cool off in.
- If there are off-leash beaches or parks with pools or ponds for dogs in your city these are great places to visit in the summer. Your dog will enjoy his or her time with other dog friends and also be able to cool off in the water when he or she gets hot.
6) Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle.
- Never leave your dog in a hot car. If it is 30 degrees outside it is even hotter in the car. Even if you have the windows open you are still putting your dog at risk of heat stroke.
- Leave your pets at home if you know you can’t bring them with you when you leave the car.
7) Keep your dog’s hair long to provide a cooling mechanism in the summer. Do not shave it down.
- A dog’s coat is designed to keep him or her cool during the summer and warm in the winter. By shaving your pet you will interfere with his or her natural temperature regulation.
- Shaving your dog’s hair down can actually lead to sunburn since the hair will no longer provide a barrier to the sun.
By keeping these tips in mind and being prepared before you spend time outdoors with your dog you will be able to enjoy your time out in the sun knowing you have done your part to help keep your dog safe.