With the summer heat in full swing, dog owners need to be more careful when choosing when and where to take their furry friends on walks. The heat doesn’t just affect humans — dogs are at a high risk of overheating too. So to make sure you and your pup have a fun-filled summer and avoid the emergency vet, here are a few tips for walking your dog in the summertime.
Summer is a great time to get out and explore new areas with your pup. But it’s important to be mindful of the terrain you’re walking on. Already, 25,000 Americans suffer from ankle sprains on a daily basis. So to avoid you or your dog getting injured when walking in new areas or on particularly rough terrain, make sure you’re paying attention to your surroundings.
Speaking of terrain, pavement and cement can pose a dangerous risk of burning your poor pup’s paws. So to protect their paws, and add a nice fashion accessory, consider buying some dog booties. While they can take some getting used to, it’s important to ensure your dog’s paws are protected from the hot pavement. If your dog isn’t fond of the booties, try to stick to grassy areas and avoid surfaces that can burn their paws. Remember, if it’s too hot for you to walk on barefoot, it’s too hot for your dog.
Be Mindful of Plantlife
If you’re walking near wooded areas, it’s important to be mindful of any plants your furry friend can get into. Fortunately, dogs aren’t at as high of a risk of having a reaction to plants like poison ivy, which at least 85% of people are allergic to. But they can still have reactions to harmful plants, so always be mindful of where they’re walking or what they’re chewing on.
Additionally, it’s important to know the warning signs of your dog getting too hot. Just like humans, dogs are at risk of suffering heatstroke. Heatstroke is a condition that can get very serious very quickly and can even lead to death. So, if your dog is warm to the touch, begins having seizures, has diarrhea, can’t stand up or walk, and is acting confused or anxious, take them to the vet right away. Heatstroke can be treated, but only if it’s acted upon very quickly — so don’t hesitate if you think something might be wrong with your dog.
And always make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you can, try to walk your dog during the early morning or late at night to avoid the hottest part of the day. If you have to walk during the middle of the day, make sure to keep the walks as short as possible and bring water along so your dog can drink some if needed.
Summer is a fun time to play outside and splash around in some water. And by following these few simple tips, you can ensure both you and your pup have a safe and fun summer.