5 Tips to Safely Enjoy Summer Activities With Your Dog
With summer comes ample opportunity to spend quality time with your dog. I especially enjoy paddleboarding with our dog, Parker. If you plan to include your dog in summer activities, it is important to make smart choices that will keep him safe.
1. Choose the Right Time to Exercise
My biggest pet peeve is seeing a dog guardian exercise their dog during the hottest times of the day during the summer.
This sets their dog up for overheating and all that comes with it.
Plan activities in the early morning hours or late evening hours, when the sun is not as hot. You may also need to shorten your walks during the summer.
2. Use Booties to Protect Their Feet
Pavement, especially dark pavement, can get very hot during the summer.
Use your hand to check the surface for your pup. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
If you’re going on a hike with your dog, walk on grass whenever possible, and be sure you packed booties for when the terrain gets hot or too rough for your dog. Ruffwear sells great outdoor gear for dogs.
3. Always Have Cool Water Available
Dogs can become dehydrated very quickly through heavy panting on hot summer days.
Carry water with you when spending time outdoors in the warmer weather. Pack a collapsible dog bowl or water bottle.
One of my favorite doggie water bottles, the Springer Classic Travel Bottle, has a cup on top, so you don’t have to bring a separate bowl. You can also suck the water your dog leaves behind back into the bottle. I think it’s genius!
4. Find or Bring the Shade
Have a plan for getting your dog out of the sun when it gets too hot.
Dogs Need Shade
They are particularly at risk during the summer because they do not have the same internal temperature mechanism, namely sweating, as humans. Instead, they rely on panting, drinking water, and getting out of the sun to cool off.
Bring an umbrella or tent, especially for beach days. When planning hikes or walks, choose trails with plenty of shade.
5. Know the Early Symptoms of Heatstroke
Excessive panting with drool and a hanging tongue
Reluctance to continue walking
Bright red gums
Agitation and restlessness
High heart rate/bounding heart
If your dog show any of these symptoms, it is imperative to get him out of the sun and start cooling immediately.