Summer has arrived in full force, and it’s hot and humid out there. Dogs don’t tolerate heat as well as humans. Be sure to follow these 5 rules as you’re getting your dog their daily exercise.
- LEAVE your dog at home. It may seem like a good idea to include your dog in your family’s activities, but your dog is MUCH safer staying at home on these hot days. Of course, you know not to leave your dog in the car (not even for a minute; not even while you run in for something quick – a dog can die of heatstroke in only 15 minutes!), but your dog can also overheat if you have them out with you in the hot sun, or on hot pavement. Leave your dog at home, and you will be sure he’s thanking you for the comfort of his air conditioned castle.
- CHECK the pavement! I see people walking their dog’s all the time on hot, black pavement. Even concrete can get very hot. To check the temperature of the ground, put the back of your hand down on the ground for 5 seconds. Did it OUCH burn you? Then your dog should not be walking on it (or their paw pads can get severly burned). Walk your dog on the grass or in shady spots.
- PROVIDE plenty of water. Always remember to be serving your dog fresh water, just as you’re drinking it, whether you’re at home or out and about.
- EXERCISE in the morning or evening, when the temps outside are lower. Taking your dog out in the middle of the day can be a recipe for heat stroke.
- KNOW the signs of heatstroke. A dog who is panting and restless is showing early signs of heat stroke. Heavy breathing, excessive thirst or excessive drooling, and unsteadiness standing are other symptoms of heat stroke. Also, dogs who have short noses, are older or are young are at greater risk of suffering heat stroke.