8 important tips for safely walking your dog in hot weather

Walking your dog in hot weather can be a bit tricky.

It’s all about finding the right balance.

You want to keep your furry friend active, but you also don’t want to put them in danger by exposing them to extreme heat.

Here’s where smart pet owners come in to play.

They know that there are some key tips that can make all the difference when it comes to safely walking their dog in hot temperatures.

In this article, I’m going to share 8 important tips for safely walking your dog in hot weather.

1. Early morning and late evening walks

When it comes to walking your dog in hot weather, timing is crucial.

Heat is usually at its peak during the middle of the day.

This is the time when the pavement can get scorching hot, posing a real risk to your pup’s tender paws.

That’s why smart pet owners opt for early morning or late evening walks.

These are the times when the temperature is much cooler, meaning it’s safer for your dog.

Think about it.

It’s a simple adjustment to your routine that can make all the difference for your furry friend.

No more hot pavements to worry about!

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t go for a midday walk if you really need to.

Just be sure to check the pavement with your hand before setting off.

If it’s too hot for you, chances are it’s too hot for them too.

2. Always bring water

I can’t stress this enough – hydration is key!

Just like us, our furry friends need plenty of water, especially when the weather heats up.

I’ll never forget the time I took my Golden Retriever, Leo, for a long walk on a particularly hot day.

About halfway through our usual route, Leo started panting heavily and slowing down.

I realized then that I had forgotten to bring along his water bottle.

Seeing him struggle like that was a wake-up call.

I cut our walk short and rushed home to get him hydrated.

Since then, I’ve made it a point to always carry a portable water bottle for Leo on every walk.

And the difference has been incredible!

No more overheating or dehydration scares.

3. Invest in a cooling vest

Dogs don’t sweat like humans do.

Their primary method of cooling down is through panting, but sometimes, on really hot days, panting just isn’t enough.

Enter cooling vests.

These vests are designed with special materials that help to keep your dog’s body temperature down during hot weather.

They work by reflecting the sun’s heat away from your dog’s body and often have layers that can be filled with cold water to provide additional cooling.

And the best part?

They’re not just a temporary solution.

A good quality cooling vest can keep your dog comfortable for several hours on a hot day.

4. Know the signs of heatstroke

Heatstroke in dogs is a serious business.

It can be life-threatening if not detected and treated promptly.

That’s why it’s essential for every dog owner to recognize the signs.

Is your dog panting excessively?

Do they seem lethargic or unsteady on their feet?

Are they drooling more than usual, or do their gums look unusually red?

These could all be signs of heatstroke.

If you see any of these symptoms, stop the walk immediately.

Seek shade, give your dog water, and wet their body with cool (but not cold) water.

And most importantly, call your vet.

Being able to spot the signs of heatstroke can literally save your dog’s life.

So take the time to learn them. It’s worth it.

5. Choose the right route

The route you choose for your walk can make a big difference.

Hot weather means hot pavements, which can burn your dog’s paws.

It’s better to avoid asphalt or concrete paths during peak heat hours.

Instead, opt for grassy areas or shady trails.

These surfaces are cooler and gentler on your dog’s paws, making the walk more comfortable for them.

And if there’s a body of water along your route, even better!

Nothing like a quick dip to help your dog cool down in the summer heat.

6. Never leave your dog in a parked car

I cannot emphasize this enough – never, ever leave your dog in a parked car on a hot day.

Even with the windows cracked open, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket within minutes.

It’s an environment that is far too dangerous for any pet.

The love we have for our pets means we should never knowingly put them in harm’s way.

They trust us to take care of them, to keep them safe.

So, if you’re out and about with your dog and need to stop somewhere where pets aren’t allowed, it’s better to head home first and drop them off.

It might be a bit inconvenient at times, but the safety of our pets is worth every effort.

Because at the end of the day, they’re part of our family.

And family always comes first.

7. Use pet-friendly sunscreen

Yes, you read that right.

Dogs can get sunburned too, especially those with short or light-colored fur.

A few summers back, my little beagle, Didi, developed a nasty sunburn on her nose after our daily walks.

Seeing her discomfort broke my heart.

I felt guilty for not realizing sooner that she could get sunburned.

That’s when I discovered pet-friendly sunscreen.

It’s specifically designed for pets, non-toxic and safe if they happen to lick it off.

Now, I apply a dab of it on Didi’s nose and ears – the areas most susceptible to sunburn – before we head out for our walk.

She hasn’t had a sunburn since!

8. Respect your dog’s limits

Every dog has its own pace and tolerance level when it comes to heat.

Some breeds are built for hot weather, while others struggle in the heat.

Puppies, older dogs, or dogs with health issues may also have a hard time on hot days.

The key is to pay attention to your dog’s behavior.

If they’re lagging behind, panting heavily, or seem eager to head home, it’s time to call it a day.

No walk is worth risking your dog’s health.

Show them the respect and care they deserve by understanding and respecting their limits.

After all, they are our loyal companions, and their well-being should always be our top priority.

Happy times and good sunshine

Walking your dog in hot weather isn’t just about taking the right precautions.

It’s also a profound reflection of the bond between you and your furry friend.

Our dogs rely on us for their well-being.

They trust us to make decisions that are in their best interest.

And when we make an effort to ensure their comfort and safety during hot weather walks, we’re reinforcing that trust.

So as we head out with our dogs in the summer heat, let’s remember that every precaution taken, every adjustment made, is a testament to the love we have for our pets.

And that love is undoubtedly returned in their unconditional loyalty and companionship.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Nomadrs to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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