How to Keep Your Dog Active on Blazing Hot Summer Days
Too Hot For a Walk? How to Keep Your Dog Active on Blazing Hot Summer Days
There's a reason we refer to summer days as hazy and lazy: when the air is humid and the heat index is into the triple digits, NO ONE wants to go for a walk...and that includes your fur baby. In fact, it's not recommended that pets go for a walk on hot summer days. For one, that pavement is HOT. A sunny day in the 80s can bake asphalt to more than 140 degrees! The minimum temperature for frying an egg? 130 degrees! So, hot pavement: NOT good for Rosie's paws. Heat stroke is a possibility, too. If you take your dog for a long walk on a hot summer day and his/her panting does not resolve, or they have labored breathing, or their tongue turns dark red or purple, your poor pooch has heat stroke. Know the signs and what you should do in the event your dog suffers from heat stroke. Best way to avoid this is, DON'T walk the dog in the heat. So, how can you keep Buster active when Mother Nature turns the outside into a furnace? Here's a few ideas:
Cool Things For You and Your Pup to Do When It's HOT Outside
Finding a cool thing to do on a hot summer day is no walk in the park...unless that park has LOTS of trees and shade! If you live close to a park that has lots of shady areas, you might take your dog for a walk there. Or, if you live close to the woods, take an air-conditioned car ride there and take a hike along a nice shaded path. Remember to bring a collapsible water bowl like the Quencher from Ruff Wear, and don't overdo it: you'll be out of the sun, but it could still be fairly hot. A trip to a lake is also a great way for your pup to get lots of exercise, have fun and cool off all at the same time. You can consider the beach, too, but there's lots of things to think about, such as: is the sand too hot for your dog's paws? Can dogs get sunburn (the answer is yes)? Is it safe to pets to walk on the beach with broken shells, rocks and other debris? Lots to think about with this option, but if you're well-prepared, a day in the sand and surf can be refreshing for all.
Stay Home, Stay Cool & Stay Active
If none of the above is possible for you, it's probably a smart idea to find things at home to do to keep your pup active on a blazing hot summer day. "Everybody in the pool!" is a call we all like to hear in the summer months, and it's one that can include the dog as well! So, buy a kiddie pool and grab the hose. This equals tons of fun for Rover! Chances are he'll splash around, chase the water spray and generally just have a really cool time on a hot summer day. If you have the room, stay in with the A/C on and toss around a tennis ball or plush toy. Add to the exertion by tossing the toy up the stairs--that'll get the cardio in for Chloe! A little play time in a shady back yard can be fun, too; again, just don't overdo it. Too much could lead to heat stroke or exhaustion. And some breeds, like pugs, boxers or bulldogs, are more prone to these conditions. Basically, if you're going to walk, walk in the early morning or evening hours, when the sun is down or at least not as intense, so the pavement isn't fry-an-egg hot. Stay safe out there!
Written by Harrison Howe