Even when it’s hot, dogs do need some exercise and mental stimulation but it’s important that we make sure that they are safe when taking them on a walk and if it is too hot for a walk, what else can we do to give them the mental stimulation they need.
How hot is too hot?
Temperatures of up to 19 degrees are generally safe (I know, even that seems low) however, when it rises above this, it can become dangerous. Even if the temperature is as low as 20 degrees it can be dangerous and can put dogs at a risk of developing heat stroke particularly if it is a sunny day.
For dogs, heat stroke is essentially when their internal temperature rises and your dog is not able to self-regulate and keep their temperature at a comfortable level. The most common sign of heat stroke in dogs are excessive panting, other signs include drooling, red gums, vomiting, diarrhoea and uncoordinated movement.
Walking your dog during the hottest part of the day is foolhardy and should be avoided. On warm days walk your dog early morning, evening or find a shaded woodland walk, ideally with a stream for your dog to cool off in. If you are unable to walk your dog during these times, let them rest at home. No dog ever died from missing a walk, but many have through heatstroke.
But streetdogs abroad cope with hot weather!
You’ll very rarely find street dogs wandering around during the hottest part of the day, they will usually find shade to remain cool. They are also not ‘forced’ to walk out in it on a collar and lead, if they want to walk somewhere they can do it at their own leisure and temperature regulation. Street dogs are also acclimatised to the warmer weather whereas our British dogs are more used to cooler temperatures.
But Fido gets bored if I don’t walk him!
If the temperature dictates that you can’t take your dog out, improvise at home with a doggy paddling pool, frozen Lickimats with natural yoghurt on them, play enrichment games using snuffle mats, cool mats, provide plenty of cool fresh water in a couple of bowls dotted around, set up a parasol in the garden for your dog to lay under, put the sprinkler on for them to play in… the ideas are endless.
It is also important that when you do go for a walk, make sure that you keep an eye out for signs of burnt pads. Signs include limping/refusing to walk, licking the paws, pads are darker in colour and blisters or redness and cracked paws. To keep the pads protected, make sure that the pads are moisturised before and after walks with a protective barrier our Nose & Paw Balm. Our Hot Dog suncream is perfect for lighter coloured dogs and for all doggy noses (which, like us humans, often get burnt in the sun).
So there you have it, our round up of tips for hot weather!
With Woofs and Wags,
Laura, Dolly & Reggie