The weather is getting hotter and, with summer here, I want to make sure that I continue walking my dog with regularity. I’m concerned about the heat though. Can you advise on how to know if it’s too hot to walk the dog?Sweating in Shepherd Park Plaza
I applaud your efforts to continue exercising your dog, even in hot weather. It’s tempting to get lax on dog walks when the weather is less than ideal, but by walking your dog daily, you’re giving him a great form or exercise for both his mind and his body.
Now, to answer your question: You’re wise to heed the temperature and think about how it will affect your pooch. Many folks don’t take their dog’s comfort into consideration when braving a hot day. Austin-based Pets Alive has put together a few tips for gauging your pet’s level of comfort when the weather is unbearably hot:
• Dogs are 10x more likely to suffer from heat exhaustion than people so if you are super hot, your dog is hotter
• Dogs can only sweat through their mouth, feet, and ears which means they can’t dissipate heat like you, who can sweat all over (If overheated, get them wet to speed the cooling process)
• Dogs need shade and water as much as possible
• If a dog looks hot, react by decreasing their activity and get them to a cooler spot
• Asphalt is HOT so try walking dogs on grass instead
• Cats can overheat too. They demonstrate being overheated by panting.
• DO NOT LEAVE ANY PETS IN CARS FOR ANY AMOUNT OF TIME UNLESS A/C IS ON (dogs will overheat in minutes)
If possible, walk your dog in the early morning hours, before the pavement has absorbed the heat of the day. Evening walks, after the sun has set, are easier on your dog too. If there’s no way to avoid the hottest part of the day though, seek out shady trails (like Memorial Park), with lots of places to take a water and rest break.
Did you know that your pooch lagging behind on a walk is about the most important indicator that your dog is too hot on a walk? If you see this happening, seek shade, water, and slow down. So, endure these months of oppressively hot dog walks and then we’ll be back to picture-perfect weather–which both you and your dog will appreciate.
Do you have a question for Tabby? If so, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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