Exercising outside with your dog in the summer sun is a great way for the two of you to bond! But before you head outside with your pooch, make sure you’re taking steps to keep them safe in the heat.
Here are a few tips to help you and your pup enjoy the best summer ever.
1. Plan your walk or run in advance
Make sure you have a plan in mind for what ground you will cover and how long it will take before you walk out the door! If it’s really hot outside, plan for a shorter walk in an area where there is shade, or consider going for a hike where there is plenty of tree coverage (and cooler ground for your pup to walk on).
2. Be aware of your dog’s behavior
Keep an eye out on your pup and observe her behavior. Is she panting excessively? Is she tired or lethargic? If so, it’s probably time to get inside before something serious (like dehydration or heatstroke) happens!
3. Keep high-risk dogs inside
Some dogs are higher risk for heat-related illnesses and need to stick to indoor activities when it’s super hot or humid outside. High temperatures can be dangerous for older dogs, little puppies, overweight dogs and dogs with short muzzles, and dogs with heart or respiratory problems.
4. Limit length and intensity of exercise
As temps and humidity rise, adjust your workouts accordingly. Exercising with your dog in the early morning or late in the evening is better. Dogs who are overweight or have thick coats will overheat faster outside, so keep that in mind! If you do exercise towards the middle of the day or in the afternoon, keep it short and get back to some water and cool air quickly!
5. Keep your pup hydrated
Keeping your pup hydrated is so important in the sweltering summer months! Don’t just keep the bowl full–make sure the water is fresh and cool. Carry a water bottle with you on walks and hikes for your dog (or even a collapsible water bowl!) and stop often for water breaks.
6. Protect paw pads
Hot pavement can burn the paws of your sweet pooch. To prevent this, walk your dog in the grass or get them a pair of booties to wear in the summer!
7. Protect your dog’s skin
Long haired dogs might overheat quickly, but short-coated dogs have less protection from the sun. Just like us, they can get a sunburn or skin cancer from those dangerous rays! Find a pet-safe sunscreen and apply it on your dog’s nose, ears and any areas of pink skin.
8. Use a leash
In summer, there is all kinds of thrilling sounds, sights, scents, critters to chase and exploring to be had. This might be a little too alluring for your adventurous pup! Put your dog on a leash to keep him safe while you enjoy the outdoors together.
Now that you know how to keep your pup safe outside this summer, get out there, enjoy the fresh air, and have a blast!