It’s hot! And every time I try to take my dog for a walk, she and I about pass out before we get to the end of the block. Neither of us is getting the exercise we need. I can go to the Y but what about my dog?
I could get up at 6:00a.m. and walk her before the heat gets too overwhelming. This is the best solution but honestly, it isn’t going to happen. I value my sleep and can’t function that early in the a.m. The idea of bounding out of bed to exercise seems like a nightmare, not healthy living. I know many of you do this. Let me congratulate you!
How about late night walks? Tried that and it is still too hot even at dusk. We do a round in the cul-de-sac and the dog is pulling towards home, panting like she is ready to collapse. You would too if you tried to walk in major heat with a black fur coat on your back. So we tried late night. Better temps but I was eaten alive by all the bugs!
I looked up some ideas on the Internet. I’m not a vet but these seem like good common sense ideas for our dogs to survive the dog days of summer.
1) Don’t push it. Dogs can get heat exhaustion. If panting doesn’t cool them enough, they can have a stroke from the heat.
2) Dogs get sunburned, especially short hair dogs! Who knew?
3) Snub-nosed dogs, like boxers, bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus have poor panting mechanisms. This makes them more susceptible to the heat. Bigger dogs with flatter faces overheat faster than others.
4) Trim a dog with a heavy coat but don’t shave it. He can get sunburned, develop skin irritations and have trouble with regulating heat.
5) In the heat, it is not a good idea to run your dog while you bike. It’s just too much!
6) Consider the pavement on the paws of the animal. You have on shoes but the dog can get her feet burned. There are “doggy boots” for you dog fashionistas! Form and function!
7) Keep the water dish filled anytime you go out even for a short walk. Hydration is key in the heat.
8) Never ever leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes with the windows cracked!
So my four legged friend, we are staying indoors again until later tonight when we’ll take a quick, short walk to the corner and back. In the meantime, let’s fetch a bunch of toys and play!