We get it – it’s hot out there and you want to get outside and make the most of your summer while you can! Although your pooch is typically on board with your adventures, you will need to take a few more precautions to keep your dog happy and comfortable during these sweltering summer months. No dogs sweat as efficiently as humans, and some breeds find heat particularly challenging. Before you take your dog out for a run, stroll, or swim, make sure you’re considering a few things:
1. Double-check your breed’s specifications
It may not feel hot out to you, but some dogs are more sensitive to warm temperatures. Brachycephalic breeds like boxers, pugs, and bulldogs have trouble breathing normally during extreme heat, and shouldn’t be exercised when temperatures climb above 60 degrees. (For most other breeds, you’ll want to avoid intense running or hiking in temperatures above 70 degrees.) When in doubt, do some extra research on your dog’s breed, or check in with your vet.
2. Consider your dog’s unique factors
Older dogs are more at risk for heat-related complications, as are overweight dogs and dogs with thick coats.
3. Watch out for warning signs
Dogs pant to cool off, but be on the lookout for excessive panting, lethargy, and drooling. If your dog seems disoriented or is vomiting, these could be signs of advanced heat stroke.
4. Always be prepared
Make sure your pup always has a shady place to rest and fresh, cool water to drink – even if they’re only hanging out in the backyard in the safety of their SpotOn Fence! If you’re going somewhere and aren’t sure about the availability of shade or A/C, you can bring along a cooling collar or a cooling mat for your pooch to lay on. There are many different types of collapsible water bowls that make it easy to provide your pooch with fresh water on a walk or run, too.
5. Mind your step
Pavement can get so hot you can literally cook an egg on the sidewalk! On warm days, test the pavement first with the back of your hand. Keep your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds - if it feels too warm for you to handle, it’s also too warm for your pup. You can keep your pup inside, walk them on the grass instead, or try walking them early in the morning or later in the evening, when things aren’t as hot. There are many types of dog booties on the market that you.
6. Don’t Skip Out on the Exercise
You may think you’re doing your pooch a favor by letting him lounge by the air conditioning day in and day out, but letting your pup be lazy, even if it’s only for a season, can be detrimental to their health—and your sanity! An under-exercised dog can work out their energy in bothersome ways, like marking, chewing, digging, and tearing up your furniture. Beyond curbing unsavory behaviors, regular daily movement is important for your dog because it helps them maintain a healthy weight, while also preventing chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes. Make sure you’re keeping your pup active, even if it only means going for a few quick walks every day.
Dr. Jeffrey Evans, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and medical director at Boston Animal Hospital, recommends swimming for most breeds. This low impact exercise “burns calories twice as fast, and keeps them cool without risk of overheating.” Playing fetch with your dog and having them swim out to get the ball or stick can be a great way to encourage water play.
7. Pick Summer-Safe Types of Exercise
For breeds that tolerate the heat well, running and hiking with your pup is generally considered safe, as long as temps aren’t above 70 degrees. Try to schedule your runs or hikes for early morning or evening hours when it’s a little cooler outside. Dr. Jeffrey Evans, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and medical director at Boston Animal Hospital, recommends swimming for most breeds. This low impact exercise “burns calories twice as fast, and keeps them cool without risk of overheating.” Playing fetch with your dog and having them swim out to get the ball or stick can be a great way to encourage water play.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the only ways to keep your pet safe this summer – you may need to purchase some additional gear or accessories, be on the lookout for poisonous plants, and of course, keep your pet contained while giving him the freedom to roam with the SpotOn Fence! Have you figured out additional ways to keep your pooch safe and healthy this season? Let us know in the comments!