5 Hot Weather Dog Walking Tips

dog walking hot weather

Photo: Kristin G.

We all know that walking in the early morning or late evening hours is best on hot days, but what if that isn’t possible? It is still feasible to walk your dog safely on hot days if you follow a few common-sense tips.

Tip #1 Pay Close Attention to Your Dog

Learn the signs of heat exertion in dogs and watch him carefully. Stop often and check for excessive panting, salivating, and signs of discomfort that may indicate overheating like fatigue and exhaustion.

Tip #2 Check the Paws

Stop frequently to do “paw checks.” Before you begin to walk, touch your dog’s pads to familiarize yourself with how they should feel. Then, stop on a shaded or grassy area and check to see if the pads themselves are hot. If your dog’s pads are warm to the touch or hot, it’s too hot to continue. Wet the pads and sit for a while before continuing.

Tip # 3 Bring Water, Not Ice

Bring along room-temperature to cool water, but never ice water. The sudden coldness of ice will constrict blood vessels making it harder for the body to get any cooling benefit from it. You can use water to give your dog a slow drink, and wet down pads, ears, and the inner legs and stomach area.

Tip #4 Plan Ahead

Plan your walking route ahead of time with rest areas in mind. Be creative – a shaded porch step, park benches, a tree stump – look for places where you can sit down, and the dogs can rest too. Panting should be very slow to nonexistent  before you continue on.

Tip #5 Stay Close to Home

On extremely hot days, keep your walk close to home so that if there are any problems, you can get your dog (or yourself) help quickly.

Although it seems like common sense, sometimes we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day and fail to think ahead. Review these tips to ensure that you and your dog stay safe and healthy. Stay alert on these steamy days and watch for signs that your pet may be overheating. Stop by Braxton’s to check out the array of pet cooling supplies we offer.

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